Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) Q4 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Jan 16, 2020 • 08:30 am ET


Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) Q4 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript


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Sharon Yeshaya

Good morning. This is Sharon Yeshaya, Head of Investor Relations. During today's presentation, we will refer to our earnings release, financial supplement and strategic update, copies of which are available at Today's presentation may include forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially. Please refer to our notices regarding forward-looking statements and non-GAAP measures that appear in the earnings release and strategic update.

This presentation may not be duplicated or reproduced without our consent. Within the strategic update, our reported results for 2014 has been adjusted to exclude several significant intermittent items, which were highlighted in our 2014 Annual Report on Form 10-K. Likewise, our reported EPS and ROTCE metrics for 2019 have been adjusted to exclude the impact of intermittent net discrete tax benefits.

These adjustments were made to provide a transparent and comparative view of 2014 and 2019 operating performance against our strategic objectives. The reconciliation of these non-GAAP adjusted operating performance metrics are included in the notes of the presentation. I will now turn the call over to Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, James Gorman.

James P. Gorman

Thank you, Sharon. Good morning, everyone. Thank you for joining us. 2019 was a strong year, representing one of the bests in our history. Results were within our target ranges with contributions from each of our business lines.

Jon will discuss the details of 2019 in a moment, but first let me take you through our annual strategic update presentation. Please turn to Slide 3. I think about our firm's transformation in five-year increments. Over the first five-year period, we worked aggressively to clean up the issues from the financial crisis, stablize the firm, integrated Smith Barney into our franchise and rest our strategy. Over the next five years, we made significant investments in our business around digitilization, technology, talent and the balance sheet.

We grew revenues by 20%, while we managed expenses tightly, doubled net income and materially increased capital return. Our ROTCE now stands at nearly 13% and EPS is more than doubled, excluding intermittent discrete tax benefits. Today, we will discuss the next phase of our evolution. The goal continues to be to shift our business further, emphasizing more durable sources of revenue within Institutional Securities and from Wealth and Investment Management.

The continuation of this evolution should by design help support a base level of profitability during periods of market disruption. Drilling a little deeper into this, throughout this decade-long journey, we defended and expanded our Institutional Securities footprint, which we show on Slide 4. Our brand is closely tied to our institutional presence in leading integrated investment bank. Our premier institutional franchise remains a key competitive advantage, which has allowed us to take share and grow revenues despite a shrinking wallet. At the same time, the contribution from Wealth and Investment Management continues to grow as shown on Slide 5.

Over the last five years, we've increased the profitability of our Wealth Management business, while still making investments