The firm cut about 1,440 positions in the first quarter.
Having searched high and low for revenue growth with little success, Morgan Stanley is taking a hatchet to costs.
Reuters reports that the bank cut total expenses by 14% last quarter, results released on Monday showed. This followed an even sharper decline the prior period when it announced a sweeping plan to shed more of its bond-trading business.
Much of the cost reduction has come from paying fewer employees less money, and the bank plans to do more of that. Morgan Stanley cut 3% of its staff during the first quarter, and compensation-related expenses fell 19% compared with the year-ago period.
But even with those steps, analysts grilled Morgan Stanley executives about whether they will be able to hit Chief Executive James Gorman's target of a 9 to 11% return-on-equity by 2017.
In the meantime, Bloomberg News reports that the firm cut about 1,440 positions in the first quarter, the biggest reduction since the start of 2013, according to figures released Monday.