Morgan Stanley Smith Barney plans to lay off 200 to 300 low producing financial advisors and advisor trainees.

The move would reduce the Morgan Stanley Smith Barney’s advisor head count to about 17,800 at the end of the first quarter, still within the firm’s target range of 17,500 to 18,500. The plans, first reported by Dow Jones, were confirmed by a source familiar with the situation.

Financial advisors possibly affected by the move include those who have been at the firm for more than a year and have less than $75,000 in annual production. Trainees at the firm for six to 36 months with $25,000 or less in annual production could also be targeted. The plan will be enforced on a case-by-case basis, which could mean a reprieve for some showing potential for improvement.

MSSB’s strategy comes after reports late last year that Bank of America Merrill Lynch plans to sever ties with its advisors with ten years or more of experience and less than $250,000 in commissions and fees. Both MSSB and Bank of America Merrill Lynch, two of the largest industry wirehouses, have sought to emphasize their largest producers in their advisor forces as they strive for increased profitability.

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