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Morgan Stanley Announces Launch of Private Markets Transaction Desk

  • Companies are staying private longer, warranting the need for liquidity solutions
  • New offering supports secondary trading for shareholders of private companies through an company-centric focus with concierge service
  • Investors gain access to a distinct array of private market opportunities stemming from Morgan Stanley's unique ecosystem encompassing Companies, Wealth Management Clients, and Institutional Investors

Morgan Stanley Wealth Management announced today the launch of its Private Markets Transaction Desk, a concierge service that empowers eligible shareholders and investors to buy and sell eligible private company shares in the secondary market. The offering is part of Morgan Stanley’s broader Private Markets ecosystem that provides a unique suite of solutions for companies, employees and investors to serve a diversity of client needs.

Growth-stage venture-backed global companies worth over $1 billion in value have grown from 150 in 2015 to 1,000+ today, with a current cumulative valuation of $4.3 trillion.1 The Private Markets Transaction Desk has been launched to assist clients seeking liquidity in a highly fragmented and opaque secondary market.

“Alternative investments like private market shares are only growing in importance as investors seek deeper portfolio diversification,” said Jed Finn, Head of Morgan Stanley Wealth Management. “We are fortunate to possess the largest alternatives business there is, and when coupled with our world-class capital markets and private company solutions, are in a unique position to help meet the needs of both buyers and sellers within the private market.”

The Private Markets Transaction Desk helps solve these needs through an company-centric approach. Clients who use the desk can benefit from direct support for one-off sales of private company shares. Conversely, clients intent on investing in private companies can gain access to investments not widely accessible. This offering complements the existing private investment platforms for clients offered through Morgan Stanley Wealth Management.

“As a larger percentage of capital formation and economic growth is occurring in the private markets, we aim to continue to work hand in hand with all of our clients to source and facilitate these opportunities to create lasting value,” said Michael Gaviser, Head of Private Markets, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management.

The Private Market Transaction Desk is currently live and facilitating trades on behalf of clients. In addition to existing client relationships, it has established relationships with leading secondary marketplaces which can help clients gain exposure to a broader market with a focus on transaction execution quality. Morgan Stanley tapped industry veteran Jeff Urban to lead the desk, who previously led a number of leading private and public markets distribution and syndication businesses.

“As the private markets continue to evolve and mature, there is an increased appetite among shareholders and potential investors for a trusted institution to provide access to robust liquidity solutions in the secondary markets,” said Kevin Swan, Head of Private Markets Solutions. “With more investors and capital entering the space, the Private Markets Transaction Desk puts clients in the driver’s seat to streamline complex transactions and address the needs on both sides of the market while working closely with the company.”

Morgan Stanley continues to invest in private company solutions to serve this growing market. Through the Shareworks equity management platform, Morgan Stanley has achieved $20 billion+ in company-led private share liquidity programs since 2020. With the launch of the Private Markets Transaction Desk, the types of liquidity programs Shareworks can support has expanded to give companies a suite of automated solutions to manage secondary transactions while maintaining control of their cap table.

About Morgan Stanley Wealth Management

Morgan Stanley Wealth Management is a leading financial services firm that provides access to a wide range of products and services to individuals, businesses, and institutions, including brokerage and investment advisory services, financial and wealth planning, cash management and lending products and services, annuities and insurance, retirement, and trust services.

About Morgan Stanley

Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) is a leading global financial services firm providing a wide range of investment banking, securities, wealth management and investment management services. With offices in 42 countries, the Firm’s employees serve clients worldwide including corporations, governments, institutions and individuals. For further information about Morgan Stanley, please visit

Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC (“Morgan Stanley”), its affiliates and Morgan Stanley Financial Advisors and Private Wealth Advisors do not provide tax or legal advice. Clients should consult their tax advisor for matters involving taxation and tax planning and their attorney for matters involving trust and estate planning, charitable giving, philanthropic planning and other legal matters.

Alternative investments often are speculative and include a high degree of risk. Investors could lose all or a substantial amount of their investment. Alternative investments are appropriate only for eligible, long-term investors who are willing to forgo liquidity and put capital at risk for an indefinite period of time. They may be highly illiquid and can engage in leverage and other speculative practices that may increase the volatility and risk of loss. Alternative Investments typically have higher fees than traditional investments. Investors should carefully review and consider potential risks before investing.

Private equity interests may be highly illiquid, involve a high degree of risk and be subject to transfer restrictions.

Clients are responsible for complying with applicable securities laws requirements and potential issuer restrictions and should consult with third-party advisors regarding the risks of transacting in private issuer securities, including the risk of transacting in a market with little or no price transparency or liquidity.

With respect to the Private Markets Transaction Desk, Morgan Stanley: provides no opinion or view on the valuation of any private issuer securities or the sufficiency, fairness or competitiveness of any price obtained; does not solicit, make any recommendations or provide any investment advice associated with any investment in private issuers; and does not act as underwriter, placement agent, distributor, or in any other similar capacity.

© 2024 Morgan Stanley at Work and Shareworks services are provided by Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC, member SIPC, and its affiliates, all wholly owned subsidiaries of Morgan Stanley.



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