Benefits of the New Morgan Stanley Access Direct Account

Kurt Bremer

This topic was initially slated as a session at Synergy 2020 in Austin, TX – our plans changed, but the quality of our content didn’t, and we want to share it with the public as an evergreen resource. Learn more about Synergy here.

What is the Morgan Stanley Access Direct Account?

The Access Direct Account is an exciting evolution in our Shareworks by Morgan Stanley platform.  Access Direct is an online, self-directed brokerage account for US-based stock plan participants. From building an investment portfolio to managing your everyday finances, the Morgan Stanley Access Direct account gives you the flexibility to do more with your stock plan proceeds.1

The account is truly about providing your participants with an array of options, if they should choose to take advantage of it.


  • Convenience
    • Automatic transfer of transaction proceeds from stock plan sales to the account
    • Access to a broad range of digital cash management solutions such as online payments, Send Money with Zelle®, etc.
    • Morgan Stanley Debit Card with up to $200 in annual global ATM fee rebates
    • Unlimited check writing
  • Control
    • Access to a simple-yet sophisticated trading platform on desktop or mobile
    • Performance reporting, watch lists and other online tools
    • Access to insights, research and data from Morgan Stanley’s investment professionals
  • Simplicity
    • $0 commissions for online stock and ETF trades
    • No account minimums

For more information on pricing for Morgan Stanley Access Direct, check our pricing details here.

The enhanced structure will give participants new features:

  • Long shares or cash from a transaction (including a private company liquidity event) will now sit in the Access Direct Account
  • The Access Direct Account will be linked to the participant’s Shareworks homepage

Although the new Access Direct Account offers access to new features, there are still a number of things that won’t change for you and your participants, including how you both use Shareworks.  All of your operational workflows in Shareworks will remain the same as well (including reporting, vesting events, and release process workflows).

This is a structural change designed to deliver greater flexibility and management over equity awards at the participant level. If you’re a current client, you’ll receive specific communication about the timeline for the change, the participant experience, and what to expect in the near- to long-term.

If you’re not yet a client, but want to learn more about the Access Direct Account as part of the comprehensive Shareworks solution, request a demo today.

1 For more information on pricing for Morgan Stanley Access Direct, check our pricing details at management/morgan-stanley-access-direct/pricing-details.

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NOT ALL PRODUCTS AND SERVICES ARE AVAILABLE IN ALL JURISDICTIONS OR COUNTRIES. Morgan Stanley Access Direct is a self-directed online brokerage account for U.S. residents where trading and other account activities are undertaken at the client’s sole discretion without access to a Financial Advisor. There are no minimum balance requirements or account maintenance fees associated with the account (other fees may apply), and a client’s interaction with Morgan Stanley will be primarily through electronic communications and online resources. Please consider opening a full-service brokerage account if you would prefer to receive the investment guidance and assistance of a Financial Advisor. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC recommends that investors independently evaluate particular account types, investments and strategies, and encourages investors to seek the advice of a Financial Advisor. 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