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Aug 4, 2011

Analysis: Warburg Pincus bets big on small investors

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Warburg Pincus is placing bets on mom-and-pop investors neglected by big Wall Street firms intent on courting the elite.

The private equity giant last week agreed to buy a majority stake in Mutual Fund Store LLC, an investment adviser that has grown steadily by selling mutual fund portfolios to people with as little as $50,000 to invest.

Aug 1, 2011

HighTower lands Merrill private bankers

NEW YORK, Aug 1 (Reuters) – HighTower Advisors, a firm that
is expanding by poaching financial advisers from the big
brokerages, said on Monday it hired a private banking team from
Merrill Lynch managing more than $1 billion of client assets.

HighTower’s latest additions are Paul Pagnato and David
Karp of Washington, D.C., two advisers from Merrill’s private
banking and investment group who built a practice specializing
in entrepreneurs and business owners. The two opened a new
office in Reston, Virginia, on Friday.

Jul 22, 2011

E*Trade retains Morgan Stanley to review options

NEW YORK (Reuters) – E*Trade Financial Corp (ETFC.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said on Friday it hired Morgan Stanley to review strategic options, two days after its top shareholder urged the online brokerage to hire a new investment bank adviser.

In a letter on Wednesday, Citadel urged E*Trade to convene a special meeting where shareholders could vote to hire a new investment bank adviser and consider options such as selling the company.

Jul 21, 2011

Wealth management expenses weigh on Morgan Stanley

NEW YORK, July 21 (Reuters) – Morgan Stanley’s (MS.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz)
wealth management business generated the most quarterly revenue
since merging its brokerage with Citigroup’s (C.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) Smith
Barney, but disappointing profit margins are trying the
patience of the bank’s executives.

Morgan Stanley on Thursday said second-quarter wealth
management pretax income rose 56 percent from a year earlier to
$322 million, but earnings were down 7 percent from the first
quarter.

Jul 21, 2011

Morgan Stanley brokerage revenue rises; margin lags

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Morgan Stanley’s wealth management business generated the highest quarterly revenue since its brokerage merged with Citigroup’s Smith Barney, but profit margins remained disappointingly thin.

Morgan Stanley on Thursday said wealth management pretax income rose 56 percent from a year earlier to $322 million, but earnings were down 7 percent from the first quarter.

Jul 20, 2011

E*Trade shares soar on sales push from Citadel

NEW YORK, July 20 (Reuters) – Four years after injecting
$2.5 billion into E*Trade Financial Corp (ETFC.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), its biggest
investor is pressing the mortgage-plagued online brokerage to
put itself up for sale.

Citadel LLC, a powerful hedge fund with a 9.8 percent stake
in E*Trade, called on Wednesday for a special shareholder
meeting to consider hiring an investment bank that will explore
strategic options for the online broker and bank company.

Jul 20, 2011

E*Trade profit up, to consider sale recommendation

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Four years after injecting $2.5 billion into E*Trade Financial Corp (ETFC.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), its biggest investor is pressing the mortgage-plagued online brokerage to put itself up for sale.

Citadel LLC, a powerful hedge fund with a 9.8 percent stake in E*Trade, called on Wednesday for a special shareholder meeting to consider hiring an investment bank that will explore strategic options for the online broker and bank company.

Jul 20, 2011

JPMorgan expands Chase private client business

NEW YORK, July 20 (Reuters) – JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz)
has opened the first two of a planned 150-plus new Chase
Private Client offices across the United States, aiming to
offer wealth management services to its retail bank customers.

Chase Private Client opened a new location in Greenwich,
Connecticut, on Wednesday and one on New York City’s Upper West
Side on Tuesday, the bank said. It already had 16 offices.

Jul 19, 2011

Merrill adviser ranks highest since merger

NEW YORK, July 19 (Reuters) – Merrill Lynch expanded its
broker ranks by 546 during the second quarter, but parent Bank
of America’s (BAC.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) broader wealth management earnings were
socked by higher broker expenses and mortgage losses.

Merrill had a stand-out recruiting quarter, boosting its
ranks of financial advisers by 3.4 percent to 16,241 since
March. It was the first time Merrill had more than 16,000
brokers since its January 2009 takeover by the Charlotte, North
Carolina, commercial bank.

Jul 19, 2011

Merrill adviser ranks rise to highest since merger

NEW YORK, July 19 (Reuters) – Bank of America’s (BAC.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz)
Merrill Lynch expanded its broker ranks by 546 during the
second quarter, but the bank’s broader wealth management
earnings were socked by increased spending on brokers and an
uptick in mortgage losses.

Bank of America does not disclose profit for the individual
advisory businesses, but profit in the wealth management
division led by Sallie Krawcheck fell by $27 million, or 5
percent, to $506 million from the first quarter.