WSJ Wealth Adviser Briefing: Morgan Stanley’s Protocol Exit, 401(k) Studies, Adviser Voice

“The fear is who’s next,” said Brent Burns, a New Jersey-based attorney who represents financial advisers. “If anyone was on the fence, this may push them over. I expect a lot of recruiting” in the coming days, he said, with some advisers making the jump to the independent channel. While it remains to be seen if rivals follow suit, observers say the big four brokerages — UBS and Wells Fargo, in addition to Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch — tend to move in lockstep. For example, firms followed UBS’s lead in pulling back on poaching bonuses in the wake of the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule, which in part mandates “reasonable compensation.”

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