Investment bank Morgan Stanley is buying digital stock brokerage E*Trade for $13 billion.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the consolidation will give Morgan Stanley an inroad with E*Trade’s 5.2 million retail investors in what will be Wall Street’s largest deal since the 2008 financial crisis. The bank is targeting this market, though Morgan Stanley’s current $2.7 trillion in assets under management dwarfs E*Trade’s mere $360 billion.
Despite lagging in assets, E*Trade’s client base is far larger than Morgan Stanley’s three million. But it’s also a different share of the investments landscape; while Morgan Stanley mostly appeals to high-dollar and institutional investors, E*Trade’s zero commission structure brings in more consumer-level, retail accounts.
This all-stock deal will grant E*Trade shareholders 1.0432 Morgan Stanley shares for each of theirs. It still needs shareholder approval.
Morgan Stanley previously trialed an IBM blockchain-based payment netting service in late 2018.
Morgan Stanley’s move comes months after Charles Schwab acquired TD Ameritrade, which had its own interests in the crypto space, including investments in ErisX, a crypto derivatives platform.
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.