Morgan Stanley to cut 1,600 jobs in first quarter
NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- Morgan Stanley MS +0.73% plans to eliminate 1,600 positions across the investment bank early in the first quarter of 2012 as it joins the chorus of financial firms cutting jobs amid poor business conditions.
The layoffs, to take place globally across all of the firm's job levels, would represent 2.6% of the 62,648 employees Morgan Stanley reported as of the end of the third quarter.
A company spokesman confirmed the layoffs would follow Morgan Stanley's "year-end performance management process" and its evaluation of the "right size of the franchise."
While the job cuts will include layoffs within Morgan Stanley's global wealth management unit, none of the firm's roughly 17,290 financial advisers will be affected, the spokesman said.
Banks across the financial-services industry, including Goldman Sachs Group Inc.GS -0.33% and Citigroup Inc. C +0.69% , have slashed their headcounts since last spring amid subdued client activity levels as concerns about the European debt crisis have swirled and high market volatility has persisted.
Before Thursday, Morgan Stanley hadn't announced any widespead job cuts, though it had already launched a three-year expense-savings initiative, in which it plans to save $1.4 billion.
News of the planned layoffs was reported earlier Thursday by Bloomberg News.
Shares of Morgan Stanley recently rose 3.5% at $15.58, slightly higher than the broader rally by the market and among bank stocks. The company's shares are down 43% year to date.