Brad Hintz over at Sanford C. Bernstein is the man when it comes to brokerage research. If he says Morgan Stanley is losing the big game to Merrill Lynch and UBS, it's news.
Hintz told Bloomberg that the war to recruit the best reps at the lowest price has turned against Morgan Stanley. And the reason is that the process of integrating Smith Barney into Morgan Stanley is not working.
On the one hand, shareholders are demanding faster results from the merger of the two firms.
But on the other, Hintz says, the harder Morgan Stanley struggles to digest Smith Barney, the angrier those advisors get.
"If you come in and are heartless on the integration, the retail brokers will raise their hand and hit the bid" and steel alienated Smith Barney advisors, he says.