Morgan Stanley Complex Manager in Dallas Jumps to RayJay Firm
(Corrects second paragraph to note Barton will help grow an existing Florida office rather than open a new branch.)
A former Morgan Stanley complex manager in Dallas has left to join Steward Partners, a fast-growing registered investment advisor affiliated with Raymond James.
Chris Barton, who had been with Morgan Stanley and predecessor Smith Barney for 22 years, said he has joined Steward as a divisional president overseeing its efforts to expand in Texas and grow its office in Clearwater, Florida. He said he does not have specific recruiting goals.
“There’s a massive opportunity in Texas,” said Steward’s chief executive, James Gold, who worked with Barton more than 15 years ago in Boston when they were assistant managers at Smith Barney. “What’s important to us is to have a person who is local and has spent time there.”
Gold said he reconnected with Barton after Morgan Stanley consolidated two Dallas-area complexes in May 2017. The change converted Barton’s role to “sub-complex manager” after he had been overseeing some 150 brokers managing about $17 billion in client assets at the former Park City complex.
“We’re really excited to put the band back together,” Barton said. “When you’re at a large firm, it’s hard to see the results of your work.”
A spokeswoman for Morgan Stanley said she could not immediately comment.
Steward, whose advisors custody client assets with Florida-based Raymond James Financial Services, has 70 brokers in 11 offices located in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Florida, and its home base of Washington, DC. Its advisors generated about $60 million in revenue and oversaw some $8 billion of client assets, the firm said in a news release last month after hiring a UBS Wealth Management team in New York City.
To continue its growth pace, Steward is formalizing procedures to help brokers leave firms such as Morgan Stanley and UBS Wealth Management Americas that have withdrawn from the Protocol for Broker Recruiting without fear of being sued, according to Gold.
“There’s always a way, as long as you’re willing to be creative and not break the rules,” he said.