ETrade’s ‘better mousetrap’ is its stock plan business, analyst says

It’s little wonder Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman is singing the praises of ETrade Financial’s corporate stock plan business, which focuses on moving restricted equity shares that vest for senior company executives onto the home firm’s platform.

Unlike ETrade’s custody group for registered investment advisers, its stock plan conversion business is an industry leader, profitable and ready to plug into Morgan Stanley’s technology and platform.

“We’re seeing opportunities to grow through the stock plan business and conversion with ETrade,” Gorman told a group of investors during an online conference in June.

In the last year, Morgan Stanley pushed its way into the corporate stock plan conversion business when it bought the Canadian company Solium Capital Inc. for a price tag of about $900 million. The investment bank and wirehouse clearly has an opportunity to build that business once it closes its acquisition of ETrade, which is scheduled to occur before

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