Morgan Stanley Fills Manager Seats in New York and Florida
Morgan Stanley has plugged a hole in its large-branch management structure by moving Bernardo “Bernie” Duque to oversee more than 100 brokers at its Penn Plaza branch in New York City, but continues to look for managers to fill other recently vacated seats.
Duque, who has spent his 14-year brokerage career with Morgan Stanley and its Smith Barney predecessor, had been manager of the firm’s Providence, R.I., branch since May 2014, according to his LinkedIn profile. The New England branch includes 43 brokers, according to a firm website.
In Manhattan, he replaced Frank Novello, a more seasoned manager who moved in late February amid a flurry of branch and complex shifts to oversee two Morgan Stanley branches in Boca Raton, Florida.
Novello’s move coincided with the shift of another New York City branch management veteran, Michael Simeone, who shifted from the complex where Novello worked to Chicago to oversee a unit of high-net-worth “private wealth management” brokers in that city.
Morgan Stanley has not yet replaced Simeone nor hired a manager to oversee a Boston complex recently vacated by William Drew, another veteran with a Smith Barney pedigree who left last month for Raymond James & Associates. It also has not named a replacement as yet for Duque in Providence.
It has, however, moved quickly to replace Gregg Stupinski, the manager of its Naples, Fla., complex who left earlier this month to join Raymond James & Associates. The new complex manager there is Vincent Colucci, who was most recently chief operating officer of Northeast region.
The shifts illustrate the difficulties of filling the high-pressure roles of branch managers, according to industry veterans and headhunters who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Seasoned managers are uneasy as Morgan Stanley and rivals such as UBS and Merrill Lynch have shifted their primary charge from recruiting to retaining experienced advisors while guiding brokers to a new model of selling more bank products, joining teams and abjuring investment recommendations in favor of using home-office or third-party portfolios.
To fill the branch holes, wirehouses have been mustering younger managers, often with less extensive client-facing experience, while dispatching more experienced ones, such as Merrill’s Carole Wentz, to strategically sensitive regions.
Colucci joined Morgan Stanley in 2006 after spending the first three years of his brokerage career at Merrill, according to BrokerCheck, and was one of 145 employees who Morgan Stanley promoted in January to managing director. A person in the Naples Pelican Bay branch who answered the phone said Colucci was not immediately available to comment as he was visiting local offices.