Cravath, Davis Polk, Wachtell advise on broker mega-merger

A trio of US firms have snared lead roles advising on the merger of Morgan Stanley Wealth Management and Citi’s Smith Barney.

Davis Polk & Wardwell partners George Bason, John Bick and Carole Schiffman led a team advising Citi on the joint venture with Morgan Stanley.

Morgan Stanley instructed Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz partners Ed Herlihy and Richard Kim to advise on the deal, while Cravath Swaine & Moore partner Robert Joffe led a team advising Citi’s independent directors.

The join venture will combine the brokerage arms of Morgan Stanley and Citi’s Smith Barney in the US, Australia and the bank’s UK group Quilter.

It will create the world’s largest single brokerage combining Morgan Stanley’s 8,000 brokers and Smith Barney’s 11,000.