Citigroup Inc. and Morgan Stanley completed their joint venture Monday, creating the world's largest brokerage, with about 18,500 financial advisers and combined annual revenue of about $14 billion.
The venture, announced in January and originally targeted for completion in the third quarter, creates an entity with 1,000 sites worldwide and 6.8 million client households.
The deal also reflects a strategic shift for both companies — moving Citigroup toward a smaller, more focused business model and letting Morgan Stanley grow beyond its institutional roots to become a major player in the retail investment market.
Morgan Stanley chairman and chief executive John Mack said Monday that the partnership will be "a clear industry leader that will be the premier choice for clients and high-quality financial advisers around the world."
Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit said that Citi benefits from the transaction by "monetizing its investment in its wealth management business, while continuing to benefit from a multiyear earnings stream created by the larger firm."
Citi said it expects a pretax gain of $10.9 billion and the creation of nearly $7.8 billion of tangible common equity. The banking company is getting 49% of the venture and receiving $2.75 billion in cash.
The joint venture's estimated cost savings are about $1.1 billion annually once the integration is completed in about two years. The projected savings are about 15% of current combined expenses.