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Anthony Malakian, deputy editor, Buy-Side Technology

A Good Idea on the Eve of MLK Day

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Morgan Stanley Smith Barney announced this week that next Monday - Martin Luther King, Jr. Day - it would be going live with a blog that will provide a forum for "people of diverse backgrounds interested in careers as financial advisors."

The goal of the site (www.multiculturalfaforum.com) for Morgan Stanley Smith Barney is to tap into an underutilized segment with the hope of finding financial advisors with unique backgrounds. The firm has already done something similar to this with its Women Financial Advisors Forum, which launched in July 2009 and has attracted more than 70,000 visitors.

It's a sharp move and I'm surprised that more firms have not created similar sites. I'm not quite sure if there are rules against this (I'm going to look into this, and I would appreciate any insight that readers/subscribers might have on the subject), but if Morgan Stanley Smith Barney - or another firm for that matter - can find a way to tap the site (or a similar site) into business schools from around the country, it could create an invaluable pipeline of potential advisors.

Also, be sure to listen to our podcast with Confluence's Kirk Botula on why hedge funds and mutual funds plan on cleaning up their back offices during 2011 due to changes in the regulatory environment. Additionally, there were several major people moves announced during the course of this week by Calypso, Omgeo, Investment Solutions, BI-SAM and ISDA.


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