Morgan Stanley may drop "Smith Barney" name: report

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Morgan Stanley is considering dropping the Smith Barney name from its brokerage joint venture less than two years after it closed the deal, according to the Wall Street Journal, citing sources.

Some Morgan Stanley Smith Barney clients have been asked to choose between six potential names -- Morgan Stanley Advisors, Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Advisors, Morgan Stanley Global Wealth Advisors, Morgan Stanley Wealth Advisors, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management and Morgan Stanley Global Wealth Management, according to the Journal.

In January, Morgan Stanley announced the retirement of Charles Johnston, a former Smith Barney executive who was president of the brokerage joint venture.

This was followed late last month with the unit's northeast regional director and former Smith Barney manager Ronald Ferrelli's move to UBS, leaving only one ex-Smith Barney manager among the three remaining regional directors.

A Morgan Stanley spokesman declined to comment.

(Reporting by Helen Kearney; editing by Andre Grenon)