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Press Release

Morgan Stanley at Work to Acquire Leading Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Plan Provider American Financial Systems

Issued by Morgan Stanley

June 22, 2022

Acquisition adds to Morgan Stanley’s workplace offering spectrum that ranges from executive services, retirement plan guidance and implementation, to equity compensation and financial wellness

NEW YORK -- Morgan Stanley at Work today announced the acquisition of American Financial Systems (AFS), a recognized leader in providing nonqualified executive benefit plan solutions and services to employers of all sizes. The business’s full-service deferred compensation plan offerings include:

  • Plan Design Consulting: Helps assess a sponsor’s objectives alongside retirement plan consultants and financial advisors.
  • Plan Implementation and Online Enrollment: Provides a single point of contact to manage documentation, help get set-up on Deferral.com, and monitor participant enrollment.
  • Funding Analysis and Optimization: The business utilizes the latest versions of proprietary software to model various alternatives for meeting financial obligations.
  • Client Management and Plan Recordkeeping: Provides dedicated account manager to handle day-to-day processing, recordkeeping and support to maintain balances and reporting.

“The workplace is a key story to watch over the next five years in the wealth management industry,” said Jed Finn, Head of Corporate & Institutional Solutions and COO of Morgan Stanley Wealth Management. “It is the single most important source of wealth creation, and at Morgan Stanley we have been hard at work creating an end-to-end integrated offering where we can help plan participants reach their financial goals and corporations manage the full spectrum of their financial wellness, equity, and now with the addition of AFS, deferred cash offerings.”

“Attracting, retaining, and motivating top talent is a top priority for our clients and their organizations,” said Brian McDonald, Head of Morgan Stanley at Work. “In response, deferred compensation plans have grown in popularity as plan sponsors increasingly explore new practices to round out their compensation structures. Combining AFS with our workplace offering along with the proficiency of our Financial Advisors creates a powerful value proposition for plan sponsors and their participants.”

Terms of the transaction, which is expected to close during Fall 2022, were not disclosed. To learn more about Morgan Stanley at Work, please visit: https://www.morganstanley.com/atwork/

About American Financial Systems

Founded in 1986, AFS is a recognized leader in providing supplemental executive benefit plan solutions and services to employers of all sizes. These plans offer an additional method to save for retirement, or other long-term savings needs, on a tax deferred basis and play a key role in an employer's efforts to recruit, retain and reward their most valuable executives.

About Morgan Stanley at Work

Morgan Stanley at Work offers a suite of financial solutions, which spans Equity Compensation through Shareworks and E*TRADE Equity Edge Online, Retirement and Financial Wellness Solutions. Morgan Stanley at Work combines cutting-edge planning and Morgan Stanley intellectual capital and financial education delivered through multiple channels to enable employees to build a holistic plan to achieve their financial goals. Shareworks services are provided by Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC, member SIPC, and its affiliates, and Equity Edge Online® employee stock plan solutions are offered by E*TRADE Financial Corporate Services, Inc., both are parts of Morgan Stanley at Work and all wholly owned subsidiaries of Morgan Stanley.

About Morgan Stanley Wealth Management

Morgan Stanley Wealth Management is a leading financial services firm that provides access to a wide range of products and services to individuals, businesses, and institutions, including brokerage and investment advisory services, financial and wealth planning, cash management and lending products and services, annuities and insurance, retirement, and trust services.

About Morgan Stanley

Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) is a leading global financial services firm providing investment banking, securities, wealth management and investment management services. With offices in more than 41 countries, the Firm's employees serve clients worldwide including corporations, governments, institutions, and individuals. For more information about Morgan Stanley, please visit www.morganstanley.com.

Morgan Stanley Wealth Management is the trade name of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC, a registered broker-dealer in the United States. 

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