(Bloomberg News) Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, the world's largest brokerage, will let financial advisors market themselves and share ideas with clients through social-networking Web sites LinkedIn and Twitter.
The plan will start with about 600 advisors in late June before expanding to the rest of the firm's 17,800 brokers within six months, according to an internal memo from Andy Saperstein, who runs the brokerage's U.S. operations. Jim Wiggins, a spokesman for New York-based Morgan Stanley, confirmed the contents of the memo.
Wealth management firms have been seeking ways to allow brokers to use social media sites that are popular with customers while satisfying regulatory demands that client communications be captured and retained. Morgan Stanley brokers will have communications pre-approved and the firm will keep records of them, according to the memo.
"This will be a significant competitive advantage," Saperstein said in the memo. "We are the first major wealth management firm to announce a vendor solution for our advisors to use key social-networking sites to market themselves and share the firm's intellectual content."