Morgan Stanley to Launch Nation’s First Advisory 529 Plan; North Carolina to Be Sponsor

NEW YORK--()--Morgan Stanley announced today the Firm will launch the Morgan Stanley National Advisory 529 Plan, the industry’s first advisory 529 Plan, which strategically aligns with the Firm’s goals-based investing approach to help families save and invest for future education expenses. Morgan Stanley has contracted with the North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority (NCSEAA) to sponsor the Plan. The Morgan Stanley National Advisory 529 Plan will be offered exclusively through Morgan Stanley Wealth Management Financial Advisors to their clients in North Carolina and nationally, and is expected to be available in the Fall.

For the first time in the industry, the Plan will be offered only within an advisory relationship to enable Financial Advisors to provide their clients with holistic financial advice on their total assets allowing for active wealth planning and goal monitoring. Morgan Stanley Wealth Management clients who invest in the Morgan Stanley National Advisory 529 Plan will not pay brokerage charges or commissions on their portfolios, but rather pay an advisory fee leveraging household pricing and have direct access to professional investment advice and experience a streamlined onboarding process.

“We are excited to be the first in the industry to offer an advisory 529 plan with the NCSEAA who value innovation in investing for education as much as we do,” said David Rosen, Head of Traditional Investment Products, Morgan Stanley Investment Solutions. “The launch of the Morgan Stanley National Advisory 529 Plan is a direct response to the increased demand by our Financial Advisors and their clients for an integrated, advisory 529 plan solution to help achieve their education funding goals and objectives. We see this as a natural complement to our more than 20 existing 529 plan offerings available through our brokerage platform that will provide our clients with a choice of account type.”

Morgan Stanley will serve as the plan administrator, distributor and investment manager of the Morgan Stanley National Advisory 529 Plan, leveraging the existing advisory platform infrastructure, investment process, and model portfolios as well as the expertise of Morgan Stanley’s Global Investment Committee.

“Working with a firm of Morgan Stanley’s caliber, one of the largest financial institutions in the world, with over 15,000 financial advisors serving clients throughout the nation, including North Carolina, was a major consideration for the Authority,” said Elizabeth McDuffie, NCSEAA’s Executive Director. “Morgan Stanley’s proposal to submit their Firm and their financial advisors to a fiduciary standard both when performing their obligations for the Morgan Stanley National Advisory 529 Plan and when dealing with their clients was a major factor in the Authority’s decision to proceed. We believe that using multiple investment managers under the direction of Morgan Stanley’s investment professionals and their rigorous due diligence process will also contribute to the Plan’s success for all participants,” added McDuffie.

The Morgan Stanley National Advisory 529 Plan’s investment menu will consist of 11 different Firm discretionary model portfolios investing in Morgan Stanley Pathway Funds, which utilize expertise from non-proprietary investment managers across the investment universe. Portfolios will consist of risk-based asset allocation models with both passive and active strategies designed to meet a wide range of investment objectives.

For additional educational resources about 529 College Savings, visit

For more information please see the applicable Morgan Stanley ADV brochure

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Media Relations Contact: Katrina Clay,


Media Relations Contact: Katrina Clay,