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Morgan Stanley To Sell EMEA Stock Plan Unit; Asked To Pay $1.5 Mln To Brokers

Morgan Stanley (MS) Wednesday said it has reached an agreement to sell the EMEA-based portion of its Global Stock Plan Services business or GSPS EMEA to Computershare Limited (CPU.AX). The transaction, said to be valued at $48.5 million, is expected to close during the second quarter.

The GSPS EMEA business provides employee stock plan record keeping and automated trade execution services. As part of the transaction, Morgan Stanley plans to continue to provide trade execution services to existing GSPS EMEA clients and their employees.

Gregory Fleming, President of Morgan Stanley Wealth Management and Morgan Stanley Investment Management, said, "This transaction is the result of our strategic decision to focus our stock plan service offering on the global needs of U.S.-based corporations. We are planning to make significant investments in the U.S. business to support our corporate clients and their employees around the world.''

Meanwhile, Standard Chartered Plc (STAN) is in discussions to buy Morgan Stanley's Indian wealth management unit, Bloomberg reported, quoting two people familiar with the discussions. The U.K. lender is looking to expand its business in India.

Elsewhere, an arbitration panel awarded two brokers about $1.5 million, denying the request of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney to claw back compensation from them.

The wealth management unit had asked the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority arbitration panel to make these brokers - Antonia Carreras and Carlos Javier Molina - repay promissory notes.

However, the brokers contended that the company breached contracts related to bonuses and commissions.

The brokers who were recruited from Merrill Lynch were initially told that they could manage assets from high-net-worth Latin and South American clients on Morgan Stanley's Swiss platform, but the lender decided to stop this later.

The panel said the work environment around the Swiss platform was changed and caused the brokers loss in commissions. While Carreras was awarded $655,786, Molina was awarded $834,637.

MS closed up 2.1 percent at $22.90 on Wednesday.

by RTT Staff Writer

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