Valentine’s day was just a short while ago and I guess it inspired more than a few significant mergers in the past week or so. In a major move in individual wealth management, wirehouse broker Morgan Stanley announced a deal to buy online broker E-Trade for $13 billion. Clearly, Morgan Stanley was feeling left out in the cold and lonely after Charles Schwab pulled a similar move a few months ago, buying TD Ameritrade.
Don’t start throwing confetti just yet. That’s not the only big news of the week. Someone still has to manage those assets and a large contender just became even larger. California based Franklin Templeton investment management just tendered a $4.5 billion purchase for Baltimore based Legg Mason. Legg Mason manages some of the most lucrative and popular investment management boutiques under its banner, including Western Asset and Clearbridge, thus creating a new firm with $1.5 trillion in assets under management.