Morgan Stanley and Citigroup will have to wait up to two years to gain the full benefit of their $14bn-a-year brokerage joint venture as the complexity of merging information technology systems delays integration, the FT reports.
The IT issues are frustrating some of the new business' 18,500 financial advisers, who had expected to be able to sell a full suite of products from both Morgan Stanley and Citi to their wealthy clients, the paper reported on Sunday, citing people close to the situation.
The deal to create Morgan Stanley Smith Barney was wrapped up on 1 June, three months ahead of schedule in an effort to reassure brokers and customers of the combined companies. At the time Morgan Stanley executives said the venture would create a single distribution channel for the marketing and cross-sale of investment products to Citi's retail deposit base.
But the difficulties of integrating IT systems will mean that Morgan Stanley's financial advisers will not be able to access products from Citi's capital markets business, and vice-versa, for months, says the FT.
"People are working extremely hard to put all the components in place, but it is going to take some time," Morgan Stanley Smith Barney told the paper.M Stanley and Citi venture keeps brokers waiting - FT