Greg Fleming Takes Reins of Expanded Rockefeller Family Office
Almost two years after stepping down as president of Morgan Stanley Wealth Management amid signs he would never get the investment bank’s top job, Gregory Fleming has signed on with hedge fund Viking Global Investors to reshape the wealth and investment management businesses of the Rockefeller family.
Fleming, 54, will become chief executive of Rockefeller Capital Markets, a reconstituted version of the Rockefeller Financial Services family office, which has $16.2-billion of client assets under advisement. Morgan Stanley was managing $2.2 trillion of wealth management client assets at the end of the second quarter.
The former Morgan Stanley executive, who helped steer Merrill Lynch into the hands of Bank of America when he briefly served as Merrill’s president during the financial crisis, will attempt to expand the Rockefeller wealth and asset management business by broadening advisory services offered to ultra-wealthy families and institutions, according to the release.
“The team at Rockefeller Financial Services has spent years building the highest-quality investment management firm for families and institutions,” David Rockefeller, Jr., chairman of RFS, said in a prepared statement. “We look forward to Greg’s leadership and Viking’s support to expand the Rockefeller platform and bring new products and services to our clients.”
Fleming, a former Merrill investment banker who remains registered as a broker with small New York broker-dealer Axiom Capital Management, did not immediately return a request for comment. He will assume his new role when the deal closes in next year’s first quarter, Rockefeller Financial Services said.
Viking, which is run by Andreas Halvorsen and was managing $32 billion before announcing in August it would return one-fourth of that to investors angry over their recent returns, is taking a majority ownership in the restructured wealth firm. The purchase prices was not disclosed but is believed to be in the low nine figures, according to several published reports, which said the Rockefeller family will retain a 10% stake.
The family’s assets account for around one-third of the money at Rockefeller Financial Services. Fleming is taking a stake in the new venture, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The family office, which was opened to outsiders in 1979, generally requires minimum accounts of $30 million, according to RFS’s most recent ADV regulatory brochure. It charges 1% on assets of up to $25 million invested, 0.75% on accounts between $25 million and $50 million and 0.50% on assets over $50 million, according to the filing.
Since his unexpected departure from Morgan Stanley in January 2016, Fleming has been involved in a number of side projects. He reportedly advised Anthony Scaramucci on how to dispose of Skybridge Capital as the fund-of-fund investor was jockeying for a position with the Trump administration and during the summer advised former New York Yankees star Derek Jeter and other investors on their $1.2 billion purchase of the Miami Marlins.
London-based Ardea Partners, which was founded last year by former Goldman Sachs banker Christopher Cole, advised Rockefeller Financial Services on the reorganization.
—Jed Horowitz contributed to this story.