By Joseph A. Giannone
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Morgan Stanley has eliminated four regional manager jobs in a reorganization of its brokerage joint venture that trims the number of regions, the second time in eight months it has reduced its manager ranks.
The Morgan Stanley Smith Barney brokerage, the largest in the United States with nearly 17,000 financial advisers, will have four regional managers reporting to three divisions led by Richard Skae in the Northeast, Arnold "Bill" McMahon in the Midwest and South, and Douglas Kentfield in the West.
A Morgan Stanley spokeswoman said Monday the changes "create a more effective and efficient regional structure." The four managers affected by the realignment, who were not identified by the company, will be offered other management jobs.
Morgan Stanley is trying to cut costs as it faces pressure to boost the performance of a business that has generated lower-than-expected results since Morgan Stanley and Citigroup Inc combined their brokerage businesses in 2009 to create Morgan Stanley Smith Barney.
The joint venture cut the number of regions to 16 from 19 in December.
Morgan Stanley's profit margin in wealth management improved to 12 percent from 11 percent in the second quarter, but still fell short of its reduced "mid-teens" percent target.
(Reporting by Joseph A. Giannone; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)