Morgan Stanley Smith Barney is changing its name to Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, effectively ending the Smith Barney brand that has been alive in some form since 1873, aside from a brief period in the early 2000’s.
- Charles D. Barney & Co. in 1873 and Edward B. Smith & Co. was founded in 1892, with the two companies eventually merging together in 1938.
- After the merger, Smith Barney & Co. was one of the most successful securities companies in the country. Eventually merging with Harris, Upham & Co. to form SBHU Holdings. The holdings company was then renamed Smith Barney Inc in 1982.
- Smith Barney went through a series of purchases in the 1980’s, eventually being known as the travellers Group Inc, with the brokerage business operating under the Smith Barney name.
- In 1997, travellers purchased Saloman Brothers, and created an investment arm named Saloman Smith Barney, as it carried both the Salomon and Smith Barney brands.
- 1998 saw a huge merger between Citicorp and travellers, forming what is now known as Citigroup. The Saloman Smith Barney name was now housed by Citigroup.
- In 2003, the name was ultimately abandoned after a number of financial scandals was destroying the bank’s reputation.
- While the name was gone, the services provided by Saloman Smith Barney remained in tact. In 2008, during the start of the most recent financial crisis, Citigroup suffered significant losses and was forced to sell a portion of its wealth management division to Morgan Stanley. Morgan Stanley paid $2.7 billion in upfront cash for a 51 per cent stake in what would now be known as Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, giving a new birth to Smith Barney name that had been absent from Wall Street for five years.
- In March, Citigroup announced that it will be selling off its remaining stake in Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, though at the time Morgan Stanley only had the right to purchase an extra 14 per cent of the company, which would have pushed its stake to 65 per cent. Instead, Citi opted to agree to sell its remaining stake.
- Today, as mentioned previously, the Morgan Stanley Smith Barney name will change to Morgan Stanley Wealth Management.