Morgan Stanley introduces aggregation of held-away retirement accounts

Morgan Stanley Wealth Management’s plan advisers are getting access to data about held-away retirement accounts.

The wirehouse’s workplace benefit business, Morgan Stanley at Work, is rolling out a new Corporate Retirement Portal to give advisers a single, consolidated view of retirement plans and participant data on the WealthDesk dashboard. Corporate Retirement Portal includes services provided to held-away accounts and plan sponsors.

Rather than using third-party technology to manage a client’s held-away retirement assets, Corporate Retirement Portal pulls information directly from plan sponsors and can feed information into Next Best Action, Morgan Stanley’s predictive analytics engine, to provide participants with targeted educational content.

“In today’s economic environment, punctuated by rising inflation and market volatility, plan sponsors and participants alike are looking for a helping hand in maximizing retirement benefits,” Brian McDonald, a managing director and Head of Morgan Stanley at Work, said in a statement.

To comply with the Department of Labor’s recent cybersecurity guidance for plan sponsors, record keepers and plan participants, the Corporate Retirement Portal encrypts client data and provides annual cybersecurity training to all employees with access to the systems. The tool was built with input from Morgan Stanley’s plan advisers and will enable them to provide more value to the recordkeepers, plan sponsors and participants they serve, said Anthony Bunnell, Morgan Stanley at Work’s head of retirement.

“We see this as a game changing technology solution that is truly a differentiator in the retirement industry,” Bunnell said in the statement.

Morgan Stanley launched its workplace business in 2019 with the $900 million purchase of Solium Capital Inc.’s stock plan business, and expanded it in 2020 with the $13 billion acquisition of ETrade Financial. In 2021, Morgan Stanley at Work formed partnerships with record keepers Empower Retirement and Vestwell.

The wirehouse has continued to bolster the business in 2022 through acquisitions. In February, Morgan Stanley picked up Cook Street Consulting, a retirement planning firm with $72 billion in assets, and in June it bought American Financial Systems, which specializes in nonqualified executive benefit plans.

In August, Morgan Stanley added support for fractional shares to Sharework and Equity Edge Online, its two stock plan platforms.  

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