Morgan Stanley announced an agreement with Solium to acquire the equity plan management SaaS firm in an all cash deal valued at some CAD$1.1 billion ($0.9bn). Solium provides cloud-enabled services for global equity administration, financial reporting and compliance and has offices in the US, Canada, UK, Europe and Australia.
Morgan Stanley plans to create a wealth portal for “tailored” financial counseling for employees. The bank was first in a partnership with Solium in 2016 to administer equity compensation plans for corporate clients and their employees. It is the largest post-financial crisis deal for the bank, according to media reports.
Solium’s 3,000 stock plan clients, with one million participants, include Instacart, Levi Strauss, Shopify and Stripe and a range of private companies, as well as newly public companies. Morgan Stanley has 320 stock plan clients, with 1.5 million participants, of which a quarter are in the Fortune 500.
With this acquisition, Morgan Stanley is positioning to lead in workplace wealth solutions, bringing together a major stock plan administration platform with a leading wealth management business, according to a company statement.