Morgan Stanley to buy Canadian employee stock manager Solium for $1.1 billion

Morgan Stanley to buy Canadian employee stock manager Solium for $1.1 billion

Morgan Stanley announced on Monday that it is buying Canadian employee stock plans manager Solium Capital (TSX:SUM) for $1.1 billion.

Morgan Stanley wants Solium to complement its workplace wealth management business, helping it to capture millennials on the plans that have a good chance of getting rich and therefore needing to move to advisor-based relationships.

Morgan Stanley is boosting its stock plan administration plan business with the acquisition of software-as-a-service provider Solium Capital Inc.

Solium's 3,000 stock plan clients, with one million participants, include Instacart, Levi Strauss, Shopify and Stripe and a range of fast growing private companies, as well as newly public companies.

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Morgan Stanley already has 320 share scheme clients that collectively manage schemes on behalf of 1.5 million employees, although its focus is on Fortune 500 companies.

Morgan Stanley isn't ruling out acquiring traditional wealth-management firms as well as more financial-technology companies, people familiar with the matter said.

Shares of Morgan Stanley dipped 0.3 percent to $40.68 in opening trading.

"Most people's money is coming through their workplace, so it's an obvious place for us to be", Morgan Stanley chief executive James Gorman said in a statement. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2019, subject to court, Solium shareholder and regulatory approvals, and other customary closing conditions.

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