Morgan Stanley buying discount broker E*Trade for $13 billion

Morgan Stanley agreed to buy discount brokerage E*Trade Financial Corp. for $13 billion, pushing further into the retail market with its biggest acquisition since the financial crisis.

The all-stock takeover adds E*Trade’s $360 billion of client assets to Morgan Stanley’s $2.7 trillion, the companies said Thursday in a statement. Morgan Stanley also gets E*Trade’s direct-to-consumer and digital capabilities to complement its full-service, advisory-focused brokerage.

“E*Trade represents an extraordinary growth opportunity for our wealth-management business and a leap forward in our wealth-management strategy,” Chief Executive Officer James Gorman said in the statement. “This continues the decade-long transition of our firm to a more balance-sheet-light business mix, emphasizing more durable sources of revenue.”

 

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