Feb. 20 (UPI) -- Morgan Stanley announced plans Thursday to acquire digital investment firm E-Trade for $13 billion, continuing a trend of consolidations in the brokerage field.
The Wall Street investment bank said it will pay $58.74 per E-Trade share in a deal expected to close later this year.
Morgan Stanley said the move will combine its platforms with $3.1 trillion in client assets and upgrade its Wealth Management franchise into an industry leader.
"The combination adds an iconic brand in the direct-to-consumer channel to our leading advisor-driven model, while also creating a premier workplace wealth provider for corporations and their employees," James Gorman, chairman and chief executive of Morgan Stanley, said in a statement. "This continues the decade-long transition of our firm to a more balance sheet light business mix, emphasizing more durable sources of revenue."
The deal adds more than 5.2 million E-Trade client accounts and $360 billion in retail assets.
"Since we created the digital brokerage category nearly 40 years ago, E-Trade has consistently disrupted the status quo and delivered cutting-edge tools and services to investors, traders and stock plan administrators," said E-Trade CEO Mike Pizzi.
"By joining Morgan Stanley, we will be able to take our combined offering to the next level and deliver an even more comprehensive suite of wealth management capabilities."
Thursday's agreement is the latest in a recent series of brokerage mergers. Charles Schwab agreed last November to buy TD Ameritrade in a $26 billion all-stock deal that should be finalized this year.