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Morgan Stanley’s New “3D” Technology Platform Widely Criticized

By George Miller of Shustak Reynolds & Partners, P.C. posted on Friday, August 31, 2012.

In the spring of 2012, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney began rolling out its new “3D” trading platform. Since its debut, the system has been widely criticized by brokers as being plagued by bugs, design flaws and glitches. While intended to be a comprehensive, “state-of-the-art” system, according to some of the firm’s advisors, the system has had a multitude of serious problems, including system outages, incorrect changes to client account numbers, issues posting margin, problems with foreign currency transactions, slow trade processing and other delays.

Erwin Shustak, the managing partner of Shustak Reynolds & Partners, was quoted in a recent article concerning threats by several dozen elite MSSB advisors to leave the firm because of the system. According to those brokers, who together manage tens of billions of dollars in assets, the widespread technology problems have made it very difficult for them to do their jobs. Several groups of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney brokers recently have contacted the Shustak firm expressing similar concerns.

Morgan Stanley Smith Barney is the product of a 2009 joint venture between Morgan Stanley & Co. and Citigroup’s Smith Barney division. For more than two years after the joint venture, legacy Smith Barney advisors used Smith Barney’s trading platform, while legacy Morgan Stanley advisors used the old Morgan Stanley system. The disappointing “3D” system was intended to seamlessly integrate both systems.

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