Morgan Stanley Loses Two Multi-Million-Dollar Teams, Gains a Goldman Broker
Morgan Stanley lost two teams and gained one in recent days in what is a relatively even swap as measured by the revenue they produced.
In Red Bank, New Jersey, Lawrence Durso led his son, Michael L., and another advisor to independence last Friday after spending his 42-year career at Merrill Lynch, Prudential Securities/Wells Fargo Advisors and Morgan Stanley.
They are transitioning through platform and service provider Dynasty Financial Partners, and custodying client assets with Fidelity Institutional while using Purshe Kaplan Sterling Investments for transactional business.
“I think it’s really important that we have the opportunity to work with multiple partners and research different partners on our own,” said Michael Durso.
His father had joined Morgan Stanley from Wells almost nine years ago, while Lombardi arrived eight years ago from UBS, suggesting that both were nearing an end to their promissory note “forgivable loan” agreements.
To Morgan Stanley’s consternation, his father wasn’t interested in “just putting his feet up on the desk at Morgan Stanley and calling it a day” by enrolling in the sunsetting program that big firms are offering producers looking to extract money from practices as they ease into retirement, Durso said. Runners-up to the Dynasty-contracted model that they chose were LPL Financial and Hightower Advisors, the younger Durso said.
Not far from the Dursos’ former office, Morgan Stanley attracted a career private wealth management advisor in Philadelphia from Goldman Sachs Group two weeks ago.
David Harrison Smith, who a well-placed source said generated $4 million in fees and commissions, shifted to Morgan Stanley’s 1650 Market Street branch, a few blocks from his office at Goldman, where he had spent his entire 21-year career, according to BrokerCheck.
Smith did not respond to a call for comment on his decision. His arrival, which a Morgan Stanley spokeswoman confirmed, follows that of a $10-million Goldman team who joined the wirehouse last summer in Seattle.
The other Morgan Stanley departure also involved a veteran wirehouse advisor, who is sticking with the channel but not the firm.
Kelly Caves, based in the Austin suburb of Fredericksburg, joined Wells Fargo Advisors’ employee channel in nearby Bee Cave, Tex., a spokeswoman confirmed. Caves, who began her career in 1987 with Lehman Brothers and also worked at Merrill Lynch before joining Morgan Stanley eight years ago, declined to comment on her decision or the challenges of moving during the pandemic.
The team includes Brian D. Wiese, a 16-year brokerage veteran who also arrived at Morgan Stanley in 2012 from Merrill, and Jeffrey Grenier, who had been with the wirehouse since his rookie year in 2010. Grenier and Wiese did not return calls for comment on their moves.
Caves, a senior VP at the wirehouse, and Wiese—who ranked as a Forbes Next Gen Best-In-California Wealth Advisor last year, though his BrokerCheck based him in Austin—produced about $1.75 million annually for Morgan Stanley on about $400 million in client assets, according to a person familiar with their practice. The entire team’s AUM was $500 million, according to their former Morgan Stanley biography.
One member of the team, associate vice president Matthew Newman, remains with Morgan Stanley. He did not return a call for comment.