Morgan Stanley to buy E-Trade for $13bn

Morgan Stanley is buying E-Trade Financial Corp., a pioneer in the online brokerage space, for $13 billion in an all-stock deal, the lender announced at the weekend.

E-Trade stockholders will get 1.0432 shares of Morgan Stanley for each E-Trade share, representing $58.74 a share, based on the closing price of Morgan Stanley shares from Feb. 19th.

“E-Trade represents an extraordinary growth opportunity for our wealth management business and a leap forward for our wealth management strategy,” James Gorman, chairman and CEO of Morgan Stanley, said in a press release. “The combination adds an iconic brand in the direct-to-consumer channel to our leading advisor-driven model, while also creating a premier workplace wealth provider for corporations and their employees.”

E-Trade CEO Mike Pizzi will continue to run the company under the Morgan Stanley franchise and report to Gorman and will join the Morgan Stanley operating and management committees. One of E-Trade’s independent directors will also join Morgan Stanley’s board.

“Since we created the digital brokerage category nearly 40 years ago, E-Trade has consistently disrupted the status quo and delivered cutting edge tools and services to investors, traders and stock plan administrators,” Pizzi said in the release.

“By joining Morgan Stanley, we will be able to take our combined offering to the next level and deliver an even more comprehensive suite of wealth management capabilities.”

E-Trade has more than 5.2 million client accounts with more than $360 billion in retail assets, which adds to Morgan Stanley’s three  billion client relationships and $2.7 trillion in client assets.

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