Morgan Stanley bets on millennials with acquisition

Morgan Stanley earnings hit by volatile markets

Morgan Stanley will acquire Canadian employee stock plans manager Solium Capital for C$1.1bn ($900m) as part of the bank’s push to expand its appeal to millennials.

Under the terms of the deal, Morgan Stanley will pay C$19.15 a share for Alberta-based Solium, or a 43 per cent premium over Friday’s closing price of C$13.36.

Solium specialises in managing the stock that corporate employees receive as part of their pay. The company boasts 3,000 clients, with 1m participants, including Instacart, Levi Strauss, Shopify and Stripe. By contrast Morgan Stanley has 320 stock plan clients, with 1.5m participants, of which a quarter are in the Fortune 500.

“The acquisition provides Morgan Stanley with broader access to corporate clients and a direct channel to their employees, as well as a greater opportunity to establish and develop relationships with a younger demographic and service this population early in their wealth accumulation years,” said James Gorman, chairman and chief executive.

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