Disclosure: Good Banks earns commissions based on our recommendations and advice, learn more by reading this page.


At A Glance

Morgan Stanley is a multinational investment bank and financial services company headquartered in Manhattan, New York. For more than 80 years Morgan Stanley continues to serve clients with offices in more than 42 countries and just over 55,000 employees.

Morgan Stanley provides investment management support to its clients which include corporations, governments, institutions and individuals. Its primary services are institutional securities, wealth management, investment management, financial services, retirement plans and is well-known for its success rate in corporate buyouts and IPOs.

Under its wealth management division, Morgan Stanley boasts a team of nearly 16,000 financial advisors and operates in all 50 states, including Washington, D.C.

Mission Statement: “Capital can work to benefit all of society”
Morgan Stanley makes this belief a reality under four pillars: by putting clients first, leading with exceptional ideas, doing the right thing, and giving back to society and the communities.

  • International presence
  • Large network of financial advisors
  • Leader in Corporate Buyouts
  • High minimum required deposits
  • Management fees

Types of Services

Morgan Stanley offers many corporate and individual banking services and products. With their large network of advisors in various fields, Morgan Stanley investment bank is able to provide its clients experts many industries such as: basic materials, healthcare, communications, energy, financial institutions and sponsors, industrials, power and utilities, real-estate, consumer products and retail, technology services and even transportation.

There are a variety of account programs, each with different account minimums and for varying levels of investment experience.

  • Morgan Stanley requires a $100,000 minimum for most equity, balanced and fixed income accounts in the Fiduciary Services program.
  • For most municipal bond, high yield and tax-efficient equity accounts, as well as financial planning services, the minimum deposit is $250,000.
  • For the firm’s consulting and evaluation services, investment management services and Private Wealth Management (PWM) Manager Assessment Program the account minimum required can range anywhere from $250,000 to upward of $5 million.

Under the Wealth Management umbrella, Morgan Stanley operates three major umbrellas:

Private Wealth Management

Global Sports & Entertainment

Access Investing

Private Wealth Management

The Private Wealth Management division of Morgan Stanley Wealth Management exclusively serves ultra-high-net-worth individuals. Morgan Stanley does not disclose the account minimum required to enroll in Private Wealth Management. However, defines ultra-high-net-worth individuals as people who have at least $30 million, not including personal assets.

Global Sports & Entertainment

Morgan Stanley’s Global Sports & Entertainment division focuses on serving sports and entertainment professionals. The firm boasts that its sports and entertainment directors have experience serving Hollywood from actors, directors, to film, TV and theater producers and even writers, musicians, songwriters, music producers, professional athletes, coaches and owners across all major sports teams. Morgan Stanley does not disclose an account minimum for this sub-division.

Access Investing

This is Morgan Stanley’s robo-advisor service. Morgan Stanley Access Investing is geared at younger and much lower-level investors, and requires an account minimum of only $5,000, the lowest minimum of any offered account programs. The account does also incur an annual fee of 0.35% for assets under management.

Other Services

Morgan Stanley Wealth Management also provides services relevant to each stage of life. Its services include:

  • Goals-based wealth planning
  • Investment advice and management (both discretionary and non-discretionary)
  • Long-term care and disability insurance
  • Trust and estate planning
  • Cash management and lending solutions
  • IRAs and other retirement solutions
  • Tax planning
  • Insurance solutions & Income protection strategies
  • Education funding


One of the services that this investment bank is particularly known for is corporate buyouts. Morgan Stanley is able to accomplish this under two major categories of business:

  • Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A)

This department executes innovative, customized solutions to the most challenging issues for their clients. The M&A team excels in domestic and international transactions including acquisitions, divestitures, mergers, joint ventures, corporate restructurings, recapitalizations, spin-offs, exchange offers, leveraged buyouts and takeover defenses as well as shareholder relations.

  • Global Capital Markets (GCM)

This particular division focuses on the market judgments and ingenuity for capital that best suits their clients’ needs. Whether executing an IPO, a debt offering or a leveraged buyout, GCM integrates their expertise in sales and trading as well as investment banking to offer seamless advice and sophisticated solutions. Morgan Stanley advisors originate, structure and execute public and private placement of a variety of securities: equities, investment-grade and non-investment-grade debt and related products.

Banking Features

  • Opening an Account – Simply locating a nearby branch location or financial advisor using their locator tool on the website by entering your zip code. Once located, you can make an appointment and discuss the opening process which varies depending on services required. Typically, a client profile will be completed via questionnaire and will be required to provide any financial documents pertaining to their financial situation.
  • Investment Portfolio – At Morgan Stanley, both model and custom investment portfolio are available to you. There are 140 different investing products for customers to choose from. Most commonly used are stocks, bonds, money market funds, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds and cash for individual client portfolios. For the more experienced investor, there are more sophisticated investment opportunities.
  • LifeView Program – Through the LifeView Program Morgan Stanley offers financial planning with a Personal Wealth Advisor. They sit with you and evaluate your financial goals and create the appropriate strategy to meet said goals. This can include anything from basic savings plan to education funding or retirement preparation.
  • Banking Cards – The Morgan Stanley Debit Card allows you to manage your cash with ease. With the card you can make purchases and access cash at more than 2 million ATMs worldwide that display the Mastercard®, Maestro® and/or STAR® network logos. Morgan Stanley’s debit card also comes with unique banking features:
  • ATM Fee rebates worldwide meaning clients are eligible for up to $200 per calendar year in ATM fee rebates
  • Chip and Pin technology now a global standard for enhanced security; when the chip is used, your information becomes encrypted and helps reduce the risk of fraud
  • Debit Card Alerts allows customers to monitor their transactions made instantaneously with customizable options and features
  • Mastercard Benefits gives you a higher level of convenience from purchase protection (extended warranty), travel services (medical & roadside assistance), as well as wallet protection (protection against identity theft)

About Morgan Stanley

The original Morgan Stanley, made its debut back in 1935. It was formed by J.P. Morgan & Co. partners Henry Sturgis Morgan, Harold Stanley, and others. Following the Glass–Steagall Act, corporations were no longer able to do investment banking and commercial banking businesses under one entity. J.P. Morgan & Co. chose the commercial banking side of things, while Morgan Stanley was left with the investment banking. After mergers and several organization restructures, the investment bank Morgan Stanley was among the big leagues by 2001.

Morgan Stanley’s main areas of business fall under institutional securities, wealth management and investment management. Like many other major investment banks, Morgan Stanley offers a suite of products for large businesses as well, including mergers and acquisitions, advising, IPOs, restructurings, and lending. This investment bank however, is known as a leader in the industry for corporate buyouts.

The Bottom Line

If you are a business or an individual with a large portfolio then Morgan Stanley may be just the right investment bank for you. This bank is best suited for those looking to have an expert financial advisor manage, invest and grow their funds.

On the other hand, if you are just looking to open a standard checking account, this bank might not be for you.