Morgan Stanley Merges International Wealth into Private Wealth Unit
In a sign of large brokerage firms’ continuing sensitivity to working with clients outside the U.S., Morgan Stanley on Monday said that it is combining its force of International Wealth Management brokers with those who service very wealthy U.S. investors in its Private Wealth Management unit.
The combined unit will be managed by Private Wealth head Mandell Crawley, according to an internal memo. Current International Private Wealth Head Colbert Narcisse will be leaving the firm to take a senior position with TIAA, the big money management firm, according to the memo.
“Over the past several years, we have refocused and repositioned our IWM business to serve a higher net worth client segment and have broadened our service offering to better meet their needs,” Vince Lumia, head of Morgan Stanley Wealth’s “field” of 16,000 brokers, wrote in the memo.
Both Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch have raised minimum investment requirements for international investors and restricted the countries in which they will do business to better control compliance with U.S. and international money-laundering and related laws and regulations. Merrill last year similarly integrated management of its shrinking international business with its unit that services very wealthy domestic customers.
Morgan Stanley also signaled that its international focus will shift even more strongly to selling credit rather than investment products to the wealthier overseas clients.
Day-to-day management of the international brokerage force will be combined under Ileana Musa and Greg Gatesman, who will report to Crawley, according to Lumia’s memo. Musa, a former Merrill banker, joined Morgan Stanley 15 months ago to run lending and cash-management services for the international wealth unit. Gatesman, who joined Morgan Stanley in April 2017 from Bank Julius Baer in Switzerland, has been head of business strategy and development in the international unit.
Morgan Stanley in 2016 hired several international brokers from Credit Suisse as the Swiss bank was shutting its U.S. wealth management operations, and, like Merrill, has selectively recruited brokers with country specialties. However, both firms’ international wealth forces have been declining.
Jose Salazar, the executive who headed Morgan Stanley’s principal international wealth branch, in Miami, left in January and now works at Insigneo Securities.
A Morgan Stanley spokeswoman could not immediately say how many international wealth brokers the company employs.
TIAA press officials did not respond to comments on Narcisse’s new role at the firm.
The executive, who joined Morgan Stanley’s asset management division in 2011 after 16 years at Merrill, was in charge of alternative investment products before moving to manage the international unit.