With investment bankers and trading desks disgraced by crippling losses, the everyday stockbroker is enjoying a renaissance as Wall Street firms look to stay relevant to customers and investors, the Wall Street Journal reports. The likely deal between Morgan Stanley and Citigroup that would create the world’s largest brokerage unit underscores the importance Wall Street is placing on brokers as instruments of economic recovery.
Morgan Stanley’s brokerage unit has netted at least $1.4 billion the past eight quarters, a rare constant next to the volatile trading operation. Wall Street is focusing compensation on brokerage operations in an attempt to retain talent and balance a loss of commissions as customers have pulled money from the markets. The result has even created a bidding war for top brokers.