Morgan Stanley

Resident Financial Advisor Program

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Position Description

The Resident Financial Advisor position is a unique opportunity that will allow an individual to work with existing clients to build a book of business over a one-year training program. Successful Resident FAs may then transition into a field branch office as a Financial Advisor.

Each Resident Financial Advisor hired will be assigned a book of existing clients. In addition to receiving a full year of practical FA training, the primary duty of this position is to ensure a high level of client satisfaction by providing clients with world-class customer service and investment advice based upon individual client financial needs and objectives.

Job responsibilities also include handling a high volume of client contact and activity, research in connection with various products, and identifying client growth opportunities. This individual is expected to handle calls to and from current clients, build strong business relationships and offer financial recommendations and solutions in the best interest of the client.

This individual must thoroughly understand all Morgan Stanley systems and comply with all Morgan Stanley policies and procedures.


  • Seeks opportunities and helps to grow the business with clients by capitalizing on Firm initiatives; focuses on building strong relationships with clients.
  • Uses outbound phone calls and other efforts to facilitate business and client relationship development.
  • Most client interaction during the first year will take place over the phone and through email. After year-long residency program, Financial Advisor will conduct business face-to-face, over the phone, and through email. 

Client Service

  • Focus on improving client satisfaction by emphasizing world class, individualized client service, 100% accuracy, responsiveness and follow through. Always strives to exceed client expectations.
  • Accountability for meeting business objectives.
  • Brings a disciplined and consistent approach to meeting the needs of clients.
  • Proactively contacts each client at least once per year, and, ideally, conducts portfolio reviews twice per year for each client.
  • Always uses a goal-based approach to providing client recommendations and solutions.
  • Constantly communicates relevant information on a timely basis.
  • Places trades with a high level of accuracy and follow-through.
  • Assists in providing full service brokerage services.

Skills Required for the Program:

  • Self-motivated/self-starter with excellent work ethic
  • Excellent client service skills
  • Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written
  • Prior Financial Advisor/Consultant or sales experience preferred 

Job Requirements for the Program

  • Three years’ work experience or equivalent experience preferred
  • College degree or equivalent experience preferred
  • Series 6, 7, 63 and 65 (or 66) preferred, but not required


Hiring Process

The Hiring Process Consists of 4 Key Phases

Phase 1
Candidate completes employment application, submits resume and completes two online assessments.

Phase 2
Candidate's application and assessment results are reviewed by Talent Acquisition team. Talent Acquisition team sets up phone screen with candidate.

Phase 3
Face to face interviews are held with the local management team. Candidate then completes a business plan exercise, which is reviewed. Upon successful assessment of the business plan, another round of face to face interviews is held.

Phase 4
Local management performs final evaluation to determine if an offer will be extended. Employment is contingent on background check.

The hiring process is comprehensive and can take anywhere from 3-6 weeks to complete.

The assessment (portion of Step 1) is a timed exam that measures various aspects of one's capacity to reason. Reasoning capabilities are critical for thinking logically, making good judgments, and processing information and data. These reasoning-based skills are particularly important for functioning effectively in the complex and information rich work environments that characterize business today. The second assessment is an interactive realistic job preview where you will choose the best solution in the given scenario.

The business plan is to be completed at home, and is used to explain your targeted marketing strategy and prospecting plan for developing a client base.

If you are chosen to participate in the second round of interviews, you will meet other members of management as well as some Financial Advisors from the branch. This is your chance to get a feel for the office and ask any questions you may have regarding the opportunity.

Should an offer of employment be extended to you, the hiring manager will contact you with the hiring information and next available class start date. The offer is contingent upon a background check, which will begin once you accept the offer.

Once you accept the position, you will need to complete the Pre-Hire paperwork and submit so we can begin the background check.

*Candidates must successfully complete each phase to advance throughout the hiring process.


The Resident Financial Advisors (“RFA Training Program”) do not work on a commissions-only basis but rather are provided a base salary and incentive opportunities for performing to the firm's high standards and rewarded for exceeding them.

The compensation structure of the Resident Financial Advisor (RFA) program is designed to support the advisor throughout the initial development period (approximately 14 months) offering the opportunity to build upon an assigned book of business. Upon successful completion, you will transition into the Financial Advisory Associate (FAA) Program.

RFA compensation has two components:

  • Competitive base salary
  • Incentive Compensation (monthly)

Notes: All compensation referenced herein is subject to applicable income tax and other wage withholdings.

Current Resident Financial Advisor Openings

  • Irvine, CA - Branch 229

    901 Main St., 7th Fl.
    Irvine, CA  92614


  • Washington, D.C. - Branch 642

    1175 Eye Street NW, Suite 200
    Washington DC 20006


  • Chicago, IL - Branch 358

    70 West Madison St.
    Chicago, IL 60602



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