Morgan Stanley has merged three businesses within its prized equity sales and trading business — and it’s emblematic of a bigger trend on Wall Street.
The firm has combined the cash equity sales desks looking after voice, program trading, and electronic trading under the name of One Delta One.
Brian Gallagher is running sales for all three businesses, while Jim Ball and Shaun Fallon are running execution services. Paul O’Donnell is running liquidity strategy and product management.
The voice business is what’s known as “high-touch,” meaning it involves lots of human interaction. MSET is Morgan Stanley’s electronic, or “low-touch,” sales and trading group. Program trading involves trading large baskets of stocks.
“MSET’s market leading technology and standards have served as an example of how we want to represent ourselves to and on behalf of our clients,” wrote Tracy Castle-Newman, Michael Schaftel, and MSET coheads Bill Neuberger and Andy Silverman in an internal memo earlier this year.
“Our Voice and PT business have been market leaders as well and the powerful combination of our best technology and leadership are at the forefront of this enhanced platform.”
The equities business is the jewel in the crown in Morgan Stanley’s investment bank. It was the top-ranked firm for equities revenues in 2015, both globally and within the US.
This shift is the latest example of an investment bank merging high-touch and low-touch sales, and it’s part of a greater shift on Wall Street toward the increased use of technology.
Goldman Sachs has gone from 600 traders in New York City making markets in US stocks in 2000 to fewer than 10 today, according to a note from Credit Suisse.
High-speed-trading firms have taken over the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.