Another Morgan Stanley Manager in Florida Steps Down
A Morgan Stanley Wealth Management branch manager in Boca Raton, Florida, stepped down Wednesday, continuing a stream of management departures from wirehouse offices in the retiree-rich Sunshine State.
Ortea, who started his career at Merrill Lynch in 1998 and moved to Morgan Stanley in 2009, could not be reached for comment. A person answering his office phone said he is not expected to return to the office, whose website lists 23 brokers. Ortea’s LinkedIn profile says he managed the office for three years.
Morgan Stanley is searching for a replacement to lead the branch, sources said. The firm’s three-branch Boca complex has suffered fairly heavy broker attrition in the past year, according to several sources, adding pressure to branch manager jobs.
Ortea’s branch in February lost a two-advisor team producing around $1.5 million to Wells Fargo Advisors’ private client group. Another branch in the complex lost three advisors generating about $2.8 million in April to Wells, along with a $2-million producer to Raymond James. Veteran advisor Barry Dershaw left a Boca branch in May for Ameriprise.
Ortea’s exit underscores the growing pressures on big-firm managers to squeeze more production from a shrinking workforce, as Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch and UBS have cut recruiting budgets amid a steady stream of retirements of older brokers and exits to independent advisory firms.
In June, Merrill shifted a West Coast manager to fill a vacancy in its Boca “Tropics” complex, while Morgan Stanley’s Gregg Stupinski left as manager of its Naples complex in Florida in March to join Raymond James Financial. (In Boston, veteran Morgan Stanley complex manager Bill Drew followed the same route in February to become RayJay’s New England regional manager.) Last year, Wells Fargo Advisors and Morgan Stanley lost managers in West Palm Beach, Fla.
Ortea had reported to Frank Novello, who Morgan Stanley shifted from New York City in February to manage a Boca “subcomplex” of more than 60 brokers that included the Technology way office. Novello, who did not return a call for comment, reports to Boca complex manager Bill Van Scoyoc.
Ortea joined Morgan Stanley from Merrill in December 2009 as a complex business development manager, and also worked as an associate complex manager in Miami, according to his LinkedIn profile.