Morgan Stanley 3Q17

James Gorman – Chairman & CEO

lending is a big differentiator in private wealth

So I was on a phone call with a client yesterday. His adviser left to a competitive firm, a multi-hundred million dollar relationship. We have a significant loan out to that client. And the client has no interest in moving because they like the loan that we have. They like the funding they’re getting from that. They — in fact, after the call, he said they were likely to increase their assets here. So that stickiness for the high end is a big deal. These markets go in cycles as we all know. And people want access to credit. They have large illiquid positions, so concentrated stock in businesses they founded, and they don’t necessarily want to liquidate that. And we’re in a position where we’re dealing with a lot of very, very wealthy people.
Jonathan Pruzan – CFO & Executive VP

Cash at low levels

. It happened a bit sooner than we anticipated as we saw more cash go into the markets, particularly the equity markets as those markets rose around the world. And we’ve seen cash in our clients’ accounts at its lowest level.

Environment won’t last forever

think the underlying fundamentals sort of the global recovery, if you will, are pretty positive. But we haven’t seen real dramatic changes in the rate profile. The 10-year treasury rebounded a little bit here recently. But given the geopolitical risk and the persistently low inflation numbers, it’s a pretty tight trading band, FX rates, tight trading band, credit spreads, tight trading band. So again, I don’t think it’s structural. I think it’s cyclical at this point. At some point, there will be catalysts to change the direction of the trading environment, and whether that’s tax policy, whether that’s better inflation data. But there will be something. And so this has been a sort of a subdued environment. I don’t think it persists forever. But when and how that catalyst appears is clearly a question mark.

Morgan Stanley’s (MS) Q2 2017 Earnings Call Notes

James Gorman – Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Changes in regulations would boost growth

“now is the time to make some practical changes for the multitude of regulations. These changes would allow U.S. banks to be greater engines of economic growth…Let’s focus on some sensible changes, because we’ve now had eight years of experience and digest and see what worked and what didn’t. And the cumulative effect of a lot of these regulations in some cases end up if you will with a double counting”

Rate hikes will be beneficial

“as the major U.S. depository we have endured historically low interest rates for a very long time. Each move when hiring rates assuming a measured path should benefit our business.”

Human advisors are not that much more expensive than robo platforms. 

“If you look at the average basis points paid from the various robo platforms, they range in general like things from something like 20 to 40 basis points. If you look at the average basis points for a full service advisory like us, just divide our revenue into our assets including everything, you get somewhere in the 70s, low 70 basis points. So the value added of the financial buys and the institutions behind it and the research, the product offering, the new issued calendar you could argue is being putout there for 30 to 40 basis points. It’s not clear to me that, that is such an expensive gap that that’s going to lead to the cannibalization issues.”

Morgan Stanley at Deutsche Bank Conference Notes

Andy Saperstein – Co-Head of Wealth Management

No fee compression in a holistic relationship

“So far just empirically, we’re not seeing fee compression. Clearly, the trends in Wealth Management — the trends in many other aspects of financial service clearly, the trends such that we have to be concerned about decompression. But the reality is that our clients come to the advisors not to buy specific products for a price, but they come to advisors for advice around their financial well being and helping them to achieve their goals. So when we talk about what we’re selling, we talk about the value proposition. When we talked about the value or advice what an advisor brings, we’re careful to make sure that we continue to define it as advice to help a client meet their financial goals. So what you’ll see coming out of our organization going forward is a lot of moving towards, I briefly touched on the goals based planning and making sure that we’re always delivering that holistic type of Wealth Management advice to the client, because that really doesn’t have any fee compression on, if anything, that kind of a price point is quite acceptable. As soon as you start thinking about selling a particular product, there for a product, then that’s when the fee compression starts to kick in.”

Recruiting and attrition is at an all time low

“So attrition levels are at an all time low, I think that’s probably roughly true in the industry. And so much is what I said earlier is that recruiting has come down over the years and is also at an all time low. And so I expect that attrition will remain low for the foreseeable future as well.”

Morgan Stanley 1Q17 Earnings Call Notes

We live in uncertain times

“All of that said, we live in uncertain times. You are well aware the political and geopolitical uncertainties that exist on the domestic front, as well as abroad. How this will impact markets during the rest of the year is too early to predict. We will remain nimble should the macro environment change materially. Notwithstanding these risks, given our business model and leading positions in several franchises,we expected continue to deliver appropritate returns in the absence of a major disruption.”

I suspect that corporate tax cut will probably be a little more modest

“On the regulatory front, there’s huge moving parts, I mean — and on fiscal policy; first the corporate tax rate, as we said, we have a large business that is almost entirely in the U. S. and large parts of the rest of the firm are in the U. S. So anything on the corporate tax rate front is positive to Morgan Stanley, and it appears likely whether it’s this year ultimately or next year, there will be movement on that rate. I suspect it will be a little more modest and some of the numbers that have been thrown out. But nonetheless, anything sub 30%, appears probable would be very positive.”

Johnathan Pruzan

M&A advisory revenues down 21% but clients remain engaged

In Investment Banking, we generated $1.4 billion in revenues, an 11% increase over the fourth quarter. The increase was driven by strong underwriting results across both debt and equity, partially offset by a decline in advisory revenues. Advisory revenues for the quarter were $496 million, down 21% versus a very strong fourth quarter. Clients remain engaged and interested in discussing strategic transactions, and pipelines are healthy.

We should start to revisit crisis era regulations

“On the regulatory front, I think the weight of opinion is that while the U. S. financial system is demonstrably healthier than it was going into the crisis and in the years following, we’ve reached a point where the amount of capital burden and regulatory burden on the system and some of the elements of that and some of the lack of transparency elements are right for real change, and that has been acknowledged all the way from board members of the federal reserves on down. And so as we said, it’s too early to predict what regulatory changes occur. But let me give you just a very simple one.”

We could move CCAR to every other year

I think there’s a compelling argument to move a lot of these regulatory programs to every other year. We’re six to seven years into it. I think the system has been build inside the banks, which make them much more predictable. And in terms of the CCAR, CLAR resolution planning processes, I’m not sure putting all of these on an annual cycle, which is very expensive, very time consuming, is terribly additive. The amount of response time you have to those is matter of months before you resubmit again.

Miscellaneous Earnings Call Notes 10.21.16

Hasbro’s (HAS) CEO Brian Goldner on Q3 2016 Results

Strong POS trends

“So you’re right, Drew. We are in fact seeing really strong POS trends entering the fourth quarter, particularly in the US. We saw a little bit of softness in POS in the late summer, July, August period. And then in September given the shift in Star Wars as well as the impact from Jurassic, that impacted our US POS. Internationally, we’re seeing very strong POS, up double digits, in Europe, up in Latin America, up year to date in Asia-Pacific. And then in the quarter in Asia Pacific, particularly in Australia, recently we’ve seen some retail issues with a retailer where there was just less inventory taken, and a little bit less of a sell-through and therefore impacted that HAPM number, the Asia-Pacific number because of Australia. So overall we feel very good about the POS trends year to date, and the POS trends going into fourth quarter, with a little bit of a note in the third quarter due to some of those timing shifts and some of the brands that have come down significantly versus year ago.”


Kansas City Southern’s (KSU) CEO Patrick Ottensmeyer on Q3 2016

Brian Hancock

Mexican customers very aware of peso changes

Chris, this is Brian. I would tell you that for the customers in Mexico, as they look at the peso, that impacts them significantly. And many of them have asked us price in peso and we have done over the last 18 months. There is still a significant portion of our businesses that is priced in dollars because it’s more of a global basis. But we watch that as they do as well. And we’ve tried to do everything we can to make sure that each other understand where the peso is, how it’s impacting the business.”


UnitedHealth Group’s (UNH) CEO Stephen Hemsley on Q3 2016 Results

Medicaid has been ACA’s biggest success

“Medicaid has been a very significant success of the ACA and wherever that has played out, those markets have actually been more stable and better performing. And Medicare continues to be a core program of the country and that funding for both Medicare and Medicaid is something that we have been advocating consistency and stability of it. Kind of those themes are what we have stayed with. I think commenting beyond that, particularly as new administrations take hold and so forth, our posture is to be very constructive about making the marketplace work most effectively and serving the most number of individuals and making that system simpler and more usable for everybody. So I think beyond commenting on that level, I don’t think we are going to get into what’s going to happen going forward on either a state basis or federal.”


Regions Financial’s (RF) CEO Grayson Hall on Q3 2016 Results

Large customers accessing capital markets to pay down bank debt

“Regarding business lending, average loans are down modestly on a year-over-year basis. We continue to experience muted customer demand and heavy competition in the business segment, particularly in the middle market commercial and small business sectors. We are also seeing some large corporate customers’ accessing the capital markets and are using these proceeds to pay down bank debt”

Barbara Godin

Mortgage delinquencies getting back to all time lows

“Yes firstly they’re all within our risk appetite so we’re very comfortable with what’s happening in the consumer book. What we see is real estate continues to improve in particularly we see home equity was down significantly this quarter. Mortgage is really back to with all-time low tracking along the bottom. Some of the other portfolios that we see indirect is pretty stable.”


Burberry FY 2Q17 Carol Fairweather – Chief Financial Officer

Did see a slight improvement in US but still challenging

“In terms of the U.S., in terms of our plans to turnaround, clearly the U.S. market does remain very challenging. It’s an 80% domestic market for us and both domestic and tourist remain down. That said, we did see, and I said just now, we did see a slightly improvement in Q2, but we are still down low single digit.”

Did see improvement in China

“Okay, so in terms of Chinese trends, Luca, what we are seeing is we just seeing an improvement in our second quarter, both at home and when they were travelling. So China, as I said was up mid-single digit or up double digit excluding the rationalization or evolution of the portfolio. ”


Morgan Stanley’s (MS) CEO James Gorman on Q3 2016 Results

I don’t think I’ve ever seen transaction levels lower than this. It has to change

“I think as having watched this business over two or three decades, I don’t think I’ve seen transaction levels lower than this. And just supposed against that that the business had record revenues is a testament to the managed money side of it, the banking side of it, the deposit side of it, things that frankly 15 years ago really didn’t exist to a highly dependent transaction activity. And the world has changed, investors have changed but we’re sitting on $2.1 trillion of assets. And their behavior has changed whether the transaction stuff picks up; I don’t know post the election, post the Fed moving it remains to be seen. My guess is over time it does, I feel just intuitively, it feels like a low but can it go low, I guess it could go low but probably there is a bias to moving up rather than moving down of the next couple of years that said more and more money is going to fee based accounts.”


SUPERVALU’s (SVU) CEO Mark Gross on Q2 2017 Results

Eric Claus

22 states lowered SNAP benefits

“In addition to deflation, Save-A-Lot has been adversely impacted by the reduction of SNAP benefits in 22 states in which we operate, the factor that is compounded by the fact that our level of SNAP sales is meaningfully higher than other retailers. These states have either lowered the amounts paid to individuals or barred them completely from receiving benefits, a fact that has negatively impacted customer accounts and basket size among our customers using SNAP. ”


M&T Banks’ (MTB) on Q3 2016 Results

You’re certainly starting to hear more people worry about concentration limits in CRE

“Well, I think you’re certainly hearing more people worry about the concentration limits. And I think that’s certainly a concern. I read through some of the other comments from other calls and I recognize that’s a concern. We obviously pay attention to that as well. And when we look at where we stand today, we feel pretty good about the headroom that we have there. But I guess the important thing for us is that we try to do business, particularly in the commercial real estate space, with customers with whom we have a long history of doing business. The equity that’s in the deals is still very strong and as strong as it was pre- the last recession or stronger than that.”

Commercial bankers feeling good about the demand that’s out there

“I guess from speaking with our commercial bankers across the region before coming on the call, they are feeling good about the demand that’s out there. You know, as I mentioned before, our pipeline is very, very strong. It’s in line with what we’ve seen in prior quarters. I think there is a little bit of a pause and I expect there will be a pause this quarter, as we go through the election cycle and people digest what that means and with the change in administration.”


Tupperware Brands’ (TUP) CEO E.V. Goings on Q3 2016 Results

Tupperware’s global sales force is 3.1m people

“We are holding our sales force size at 3.1 million. There is really no change from the second quarter.”


Danaher’s (DHR) CEO Tom Joyce on Q3 2016 Results

We have not seen another leg down in industrials

“Yes. Well, first of all, I think we have seen – while not the beginnings of growth on the industrial side, I think we haven’t seen – we have not seen another leg down. In other words, we have seen some stability. ”


Miscellaneous Earnings Call Notes

PepsiCo (PEP) Indra K. Nooyi on Q1 2016 Results

It’s a difficult environment indeed

“Most of the developed world outside the United States is grappling with slow growth. GDP growth in developing and emerging markets is also challenged with many D&E markets experiencing significant political unrest and high unemployment. Key energy-producing countries are dealing with significant budgetary gaps; and high levels of local inflation in many of these markets are eroding disposable income and dampening consumer spending. It’s a difficult environment indeed.”

Hugh F. Johnston – Vice Chairman, Chief Financial Officer & EVP

Incrementally less optimistic in South America and Eastern Europe

“I think the two places where we’re probably incrementally less optimistic, number one is South America, not Mexico. Mexico, I think, we’re quite positive on, but the balance of South America obviously is a challenge. And then number two is Eastern Europe. Eastern Europe is obviously continuing to be challenged from a GDP perspective and that flows through to disposable income and therefore to consumer spending on our products. The balance I think were probably roughly in line with where we’ve been.””


Hasbro’s (HAS) CEO Brian Goldner on Q1 2016 Results

Seeing impact from ongoing economic challenges

“While consumer demand remains robust, we are beginning to see an impact on some retailers from the ongoing economic challenges.”

Retailers are excited about toy category

“I would say this is the second year of strong growth year-to-date; we are seeing high single digit growth rates, both in developed economies like U.S. and also throughout Europe. Retailers are very excited about the category, as we continue to have more story driven brands, more integrated play brands and more innovation in the category. Overall, POS was very strong, as I said, but as we’ve noted before, online POS was even stronger, and many additional retailers that have been historically brick retailers are doing a very good job in omni-channel.”


Morgan Stanley (MS) James Patrick Gorman on Q1 2016 Results

Seeing a better turn in markets now

“where are we now? Though it’s impossible to predict the future, we’re seeing a slightly better turn in markets, certainly, in comparison to what was evident at the start of the first quarter, leading into the early days of February. The M&A pipeline is strong and some green shoots suggest the equity underwriting calendar may open up. The S&P level at the end of the first quarter will help with asset pricing in our Wealth Management business, where we continue to grow our lending book and see flows into managed accounts. ”


Brinker International’s (EAT) CEO Wyman Roberts on Q3 2016 Results

QSR is taking share with promotions

“I mean there’s just such a strong value proposition being played out there. And we don’t think that that’s sustainable or it’s a long term issue, I think it’s more of those are limited time offers, but they also are interesting that the QSR category is kind of showing us that they’re rethinking how they deliver value and their value propositions ”


The Coca-Cola (KO) Ahmet Muhtar Kent on Q1 2016 Results

James Quincey – President & Chief Operating Officer

The degree to which our industry was affected by the slowdown in China was worse than expected

“In China, we are adjusting our plans to reflect these realities. China’s macro environment was challenging in 2015, and that continued to be so in the first quarter. While the economic slowdown is not new, the degree to which the NARTD industry was impacted this past quarter was worse than expected.”


Chicago Bridge & Iron NV (CBI) Philip K. Asherman on Q1 2016

Customers aren’t canceling work, just delaying

“I would have to say if there’s customer impact in today’s environment, it has to do with just again a delay in making financial commitments and we’ve seen that. However, we haven’t seen any cancellations in current backlog or in prospective work. So, that’s good. It just seems to be pushing out a little further.”


Knight Transportation (KNX) CEO Dave Jackson on Q1 2016 Results

April has been better y/y

“if I were to look into April thus far, we would say what we have seen so far in April has been more of the same where we’re seen our trucks run a little bit better in terms of miles’ year-over-year and we’re seeing — so therefore we’re seeing decent volumes on a year-over-year basis.”


PulteGroup (PHM) Richard J. Dugas, Jr. on Q1 2016 Results

No V-shaped rebound

“We have believed since the outset of this housing recovery that it would be more gradual than the V-shaped rebound, typical of most housing cycles. Our thesis is unchanged as we expect an extended recovery will continue to unfold for the next several years supported by improving economy, favorable demographics, years of relative under-building and a supportive mortgage rate environment.”

Inventory of available homes remains tight

“The inventory of homes available for sale remains tight in most of our markets; and at least on the new home side it will likely remain that way for a while given the limited supply of finished lots available. ”


Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB) Gregory D. Carmichael

Would grow investment portfolio at slightly higher rates

“So, frankly, if rates were to stay at these pretty low levels, you could expect from us just to reinvest cash flows because the entry points don’t look real good. But if rates were to have a little bit of a sell-up here and present more opportunity, then you would expect our investment portfolio to grow in line with earning assets. But I don’t think you’ll see a lot of movement in the book one way or the other throughout 2016.”


Cohen & Steers’ (CNS) CEO Bob Steers on Q1 2016 Results

The asset management industry is no longer a growth industry

“The simplest takeaway from the letter is that the asset management industry in its current form is no longer a growth industry for a majority of traditional active asset managers. Overcapacity, chronically poor investment performance, high fees, competition from passive strategies, growing barriers to entry for access to distribution and the rapidly growing cost of regulatory compliance, taken together will challenge future growth and profitability for most legacy investment managers. However, we’re convinced that asset managers who are focused on a limited number of historically inefficient markets, with strong brands and track records of consistent outperformance, will be among the relatively small number of big winners.”

Real estate is under-allocated in retirement plans but not among institutional investors

“I would say that large institutions are not under-allocated to real assets. The largest endowments in sovereign wealth funds have had a 10% to 30% allocation to real-assets for some time. However, most of those allocations have been executed to private equity strategies. Where the under-allocation is more pronounced is both in the wealth and what I would call the retirement channel, the fine contribution channel which as you know we’ve been adding to our DCIO team because there’s virtually no representation in the 401(k) market in real assets.”


Reliance Steel & Aluminum (RS) Gregg Mollins on Q1 2016

Rising steel prices for the first time in over a year thanks to positive trade case filings

“for the first time in well over a year, we’ve begun to experience rising metal pricing for carbon steel products as well as stainless steel flat-rolled products. This pricing improvement, which accelerated towards the end of first quarter, was mainly result of the recent trade case filings by U.S. steel producers. We continued to support these trade actions which seem to be having a positive impact on reducing the overall level of imports in the United States marketplace and on metal prices.”

Not seeing anyone build inventory in anticipation of higher prices

“You have to realize that our average order size is about $1,600, so we are dealing with a lot of small to mid-size job shops. That’s probably the vast majority of our businesses is not with large OEMs, and so therefore they are really not buying in advance. We have not seen or heard from our guys in the field that anybody is building inventory in anticipation of higher prices. So I’d have to say basically its business as usual with our customer base and we don’t see anybody really trying to build inventories ahead of price increases.”


Miscellaneous Earnings Call Notes 1.21.16

Delta Air Lines’ (DAL) CEO Richard Anderson on Q4 2015 Results

Lower crude prices put pressure on ability to drive revenue growth

“it certainly push additional pressure on getting to a positive RASM result and we made those comments this morning based on where the four sit today, but clearly crude were to fall another 15%, 20% and some people are calling for over the next few month that will put incremental pressure. These are good trades and we’re happy about crude continuing to fall, but we want to make sure our investor base understands that we appreciate the importance of getting the positive RASM”

But we’re pretty optimistic on the demand environment

“We’re pretty optimistic relative to what you read on CNBC or Wall Street Journal or some of the thunders out there that are predicting the future. We are booked ahead in terms of load factor for each of the months for February, March, April and really add into early summer, in case of early summer, its little bit early to call that, but we see demand is very strong”

Ed Bastian

Corporate Demand is also strong

“Let me add to that, because we also see as I’ve said in the remarks, continued strength in corporate demand. Our corporate demand in the fourth quarter was up 3% across the Board. Obviously, internationally it was down a bit in Europe given some of the effects of the Paris attacks. But broadly speaking our corporates continue to tell us that they expect growth in 2016 over 2015 level.”


Morgan Stanley’s (MS) CEO James Gorman on Q4 2015 Results

Significantly restructuring the FICC business

“we give more details on the FIC restructuring. Given the cyclical, and in some cases structural challenges facing fixed income, driven by the work ” and Ted did at the end of last year, we took the decision to downside headcount by 25%, along with our ongoing balance sheet and capital focus. We took this action alongside the recent installation of a new management team with the objective of credibly sizing of the business going forward.”

We’ll sell the assets opportunistically

“On the exact timing of year-end and the trajectory year-end 2017, I can’t really help you. We’re going to do it opportunistically. We’ll do with sort of minimum damage. We don’t want to get rid of assets on a distressed basis. We have some natural roll off. So we feel very comfortable with these targets. And it’s fair to say we haven’t disappointed in the last few years. That hasn’t been an issue in FIC.”

Our balance sheet was too big in the business

“As it relates to the capital with just arithmetically, if you run these numbers through the models, it does actually free up that much capital. It just means the business doesn’t need that capital. Our view is that we were overcapitalized that our balance sheet was too big in the business given the revenue and business opportunity.”


Interactive Brokers Group’s (IBKR) CEO Thomas Peterffy on Q4 2015 Results

Discussing some funky dynamics in treasury markets leading to short term treasury yields below fed funds

“in this quarter, we booked unfavorable marks in our treasury portfolio. Unlike most of our peers, we do not own or are we owned by a brand, and as a broker, we must mark our treasury portfolio to market, while they do not. This quarter, the negative marks amounted to $52 million. For the entire year, the marks were negative $33 million. Our treasury portfolio is $16 billion and its duration is about one year, the longest instrument being just less than two years. The yields on the two year averaged 1.06% on the last day of the year. It reversed from there to 87 basis points as of today. The safest way to secure our customers’ cash is to hold treasuries. It is also our understanding that according to the new banking regulation, these type of financial deposits this year will have to be secured by treasuries even of the banks which may result in a squeeze on treasuries. Indeed, we see treasuries maturing within three months currently being traded well under the fed fund rates.”


Brinker International’s (EAT) CEO Wyman Roberts on Q2 2016 Results

Saw considerable regional variability

“It is important to note, we saw considerably more regional variability during the quarter than we’ve seen traditionally. Some parts of the country performed significantly better than others, though none as strong as we’d like. Chili’s is deeply penetrated in areas like Texas and Louisiana, they’re dealing with economic pressures linked to declining oil prices.”

Tom Edwards

California, Florida and Midwest did relatively well

“In contrast, two of our largest states, California and Florida perform relatively well for the quarter, as did our more Midwest focused franchisees highlighting some of the regional variability we have been seeing.”


Logitech International’s (LOGI) CEO Bracken Darrell on Q3 2016 Results

Demand exceeded supply for iPad Pro accessory

“The bright spot for us in Q3 was the strong sales of our CREATE keyboard for the iPad Pro. Demand exceeded supply during the quarter due to the strong initial reception.”

Even though the PC market is shrinking, PC usage is not declining

“even though the PC – the PC market continues to decline 11% this quarter, if you look in front of you, most of you – if you’re in your offices probably have a PC. So the PC usage actually is not declining like that at all. And so as a result, people are still using PCs.”


Morgan Stanley 3Q15 Earnings Call Notes

General retail investor step back from market

“Our wealth management franchise was impacted by a lack of new issue product and a general retail investor step back from markets, given volatility. While we do not expect this to be a long-term trend, we remain focused on expenses in the meantime.

Fixed income trading underperformed

“fixed income underperformed in the quarter, largely due to a very challenging market environment, in which we were significantly impacted given our business mix, particularly our focus on credit and rates.”

Underwriting business slow

“Turning to underwriting. Our underwriting business slowed significantly, as the typical pick up in September deal activity was delayed due to uncertain markets. We had a significant number of deals delayed in September.”

Very challenging environment in fixed income and commodities

“In fixed income and commodities, we saw a very challenging market environment. We were particularly impacted by spread widening in credit and mortgages and lower levels of client activity and rates throughout the quarter”

This was a very different market than we saw in the 1st Q

“this was a very different market than we saw in the first quarter. I think the volatility, the lack of conviction, the policy uncertainty, coupled with really no macro themes or events that investors embrace. So it was a very difficult market. It was not particularly conducive for our relative business mix, as you mentioned.”

July was dealing with Greece, September was will she or wont she

“July was, we’re still dealing with will Greece, won’t Greece. September was will she, won’t she, which was Yellen, and in the middle was China, which went up and down in a six month period at an extraordinary rate, with artificial intervention by the CSRC and other things that really threw the markets sideways.”

Morgan Stanley 4Q14 Earnings Call Notes

This post is part of a series of posts called “Company Notes.” These posts contain quotes and exhibits from earnings calls, conference presentations, analyst days and SEC filings. Full transcripts can be found at Seeking Alpha

Reducing RWAs in bank to 180B

“From a capital perspective, we remain on track to reduce fixed income and commodities RWAs to $180 billion target by yearend 2015, down from $390 billion in 2011

Total assets are 808B

“Total assets were $808 billion at December 31, down from $815 billion at the end of the third quarter. Deposits as of quarter end were $134 billion, up $9 billion versus Q3, reflecting the on boarding of deposits from city and typical seasonal increases in client cash. Our liquidity reserve at the end of the quarter was $193 billion compared with $190 billion at the end of the third quarter.

Positive outlook driven by central bank support

“our outlook is consistent with data that suggest ongoing growth in the U.S. and the expectation the key market outside the U.S. will benefit from central bank support. Both should benefit client activity level particularly in the sales and trading businesses.

We’ve said we want out of the physical oil trading business

“I mean we are clearly into getting out of the physical oil business. We made that very clear. We had a contract for sale. We couldn’t complete for reasons outside of our control. And we will get out of the physical oil business.

Morgan Stanley at Morgan Stanley Conference Notes

A digest of some of the top insights that I’ve gathered from this week’s earnings calls.  Full notes can be found here.

A lot more stability in financial advisor moves because the wirehouses have consolidated

“We are also seeing significantly lower attrition and financial advisor moves. This was not a planned outcome, but I think a direct result of the consolidation our industry has gone through in the last 20 or 30 years where there were effectively in traditional full-service large scale firms. There were four firms operating this country and there were a couple of midsized firms and after that it’s a very small operators and those four firms can only hire so many people from each other so many times before they stop doing that and we are at that threshold point now which I think is very exciting for industry stability.”

Clear numbers to illustrate the bifurcation of wealth

“if you look at the top-right-hand and half of this chart, a lot of the asset growth has actually been among the very wealthy.

Most people look at our business and think that we serve millions of small households. That is true, but we also served thousands of very, very, very large households and those are growing much faster. The growth rate is for the $10 million-plus household has been 71%, contrasted with the growth rate of the under $100,000 thousand household of -20%”

“In asset size, $41 billion resides in households with less than $100,000, $701 billion with households of more than 10 million.”

100m in assets per advisor

” it’s also a function of improving the productivity of our financial advisors who are now managing over $100 million per financial advisor and approaching $1 million per financial advisor in revenue we are close to.

We have 16,000 financial advisors”

You can’t really compare industry performance anymore

“I don’t think you can talk about the industry anymore, because listen once upon a time these were private partnerships that all did the same sort of thing and there were fixed income shops, there were strong equity shops, there were strong M&A shops and banking shops.

What is the industry now? You have many of the players are subsumed on the large universal banking franchise. There are very few sizable in fact none independent investment bank. They have all become fed bank holding companies, so you have to look at what each firm has to offer and what is the risk-adjusted return for each of the businesses, each of those firms have, so we don’t look at industry and performance, we look at each of our product groups in each of our businesses and how they doing in their industry.”

Morgan Stanley is two firms

“If you take Morgan Stanley, essentially think of it as two integrated firms. ”