Beverly Hills Brouhaha: More Morgan Stanley Advisors Change Seats
A longtime branch manager at Morgan Stanley has shifted back to production, the latest in a whirlwind of broker and management shifts at the wirehouse’s Los Angeles-area branches.
Steven Bailin, an executive director whose company website still lists him as branch manager of the 42-broker Westwood Plaza branch in L.A., shifted to become a financial advisor in recent days. Bailin, who had previously managed Smith Barney’s Manhattan Beach office and its Westwood complex, declined to comment on the change.
Morgan Stanley has not yet replaced him, according to sources at the branch and in other parts of the Beverly Hills complex. Earlier this month, complex manager Robert Perry, who was based in Beverly Hills, took a leave of absence from the firm.
The branch manager’s job and the performance metrics determining their compensation have been rapidly changing as wirehouses pull back from recruiting and coaching in favor of rewarding broker retention numbers and accumulation of managed account assets. Meantime, they are expected to keep morale strong among the culture shifts, while working to keep customer assets in-house by training neophyte advisors who can inherit books.
Bailin’s course change followed by a few days the exit from his branch of Fred P. Stern, who had been partners with fellow broker Aaron Eshman since 1965 at predecessor firms Stern, Frank, Drexel Burnham Lambert, Schroder and Smith Barney. The partners appear to have had a dispute, and Stern may have been edged out amid an investigation by the firm, said a person with knowledge of the branch.
Stern could not be reached for comment and Eshman did not return calls for comment.
A Morgan Stanley spokeswoman declined to comment on the moves.
On the other end of the seniority spectrum, a young broker in the Santa Monica branch of the complex overseen by Perry also left last month. Amedeo Lattari, who was a junior member of a team led Geoffrey Strand, a 35-year legacy Morgan Stanley veteran, has left. Lattari, whose BrokerCheck record says he began his career with the firm four-and-a-half years ago, could not be reached for comment.
In another part of the country, another veteran broker who had been with Morgan Stanley since August, recently said good-bye.
John Kirkland Moy, a 40-year broker who joined the firm’s Boca Raton, Florida, office from Merrill Lynch, left in late February and is now licensed at independent broker-dealer National Securities Corp. in Boca Raton, Fla., according to his BrokerCheck history.
Two sources said that Moy, who one characterized as a $1.5 million-producer at Merrill, appears to have been terminated. Three months after his arrival at Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch paid $65,000 to settle a customer complaint against him of making unsuitable investment recommendations in 2015, according to BrokerCheck. Moy did not contribute to the settlement of the complaint.
Moy, who began his career in 1978, did not return a message for comment left at his National Securities office.