Morgan Stanley Names New England Region Head, Reconfigures Sales Geography
Morgan Stanley said Wednesday that it has plugged some sales management holes in its wealth franchise, naming a new regional boss in New England and reconfiguring geographies within its metropolitan New York, Mid-Atlantic, Great Lakes and Southeast regions.
Rob Meredith, complex manager of four Bethesda, Md.-area branches since 2014, has taken the New England post as regional director, according to a memo from field management head Vince Lumia to the firm’s almost 16,000 brokers and staff.
“The continued growth of our Wealth Management business has enabled us to strategically invest in opportunities to further our growth and leadership position,” Lumia wrote. “First, we will be adding a seventh region, New England, in recognition of that area’s growth and importance.”
A firm spokeswoman declined to comment on how many brokers or branches are in New England, which had previously been part of the firm’s far-reaching Northeast Region.
Under the latest shift, that geography has been retired and become the New York Metro region, encompassing branches in Connecticut, New Jersey and New York that are in commuting distance to New York City, Lumia wrote.
Nelson Gaertner, a former New York City complex manager who last May replaced Ralph Balzano as Northeast head, remains in charge of the revamped metropolitan region. Balzano moved last year to oversee Morgan Stanley’s Southeast region following the ouster of his predecessor.
Morgan Stanley has been reassigning regional, complex and branch managers frequently as management job descriptions change at wirehouses. The firm continues to have 78 branch complexes, but has not to date filled a complex management positions that opened this year in Boston and Naples, Fla., and at two large New York CIty branches, a spokeswoman said.
The regional changes announced Wednesday “are designed to better align our geographies with the profile and needs of our clients, provide broader responsibilities for our senior leaders and position us for accelerated growth,” Lumia wrote.
As part of the shift, Mid-Atlantic Region Director Lisa Cregan is ceding oversight of some Pennsylvania complexes to Great Lakes Region Director Steve Austin, while some New Jersey branches shift to Gaertner’s Metro New York region. Cregan will add branches in North and South Carolina that had been part of the firm’s Southeast region to her realm, the memo said.
Pacific Coast Region Director Curt Peterson and Central Region Director Ron Thacker, together with Balzano, will continue to lead their unchanged geographies, Lumia wrote.
Meredith’s appointment to New England surprised some veteran advisors in the region, who said that they had expected the post would have been assigned to a local manager.
Meredith, a West Virginia native who graduated in 1993 from West Virginia University, has deep Morgan Stanley credentials, according to his LinkedIn profile.
After a post-college stint in the trust department of Mellon Bank, he joined Morgan Stanley in 1995 as a financial advisor in Pittsburgh. He took his first management post five years later as sales manager of the firm’s western Pennsylvania complex, and from early 2004 through early 2008 managed branches in Atlanta.
Shortly before Morgan Stanley began absorbing Smith Barney in early 2009, he returned to Pittsburgh to oversee the combined firm’s eight-branch complex in the region, according to the LinkedIn profile.
He moved to the 165-broker, four-office Central Maryland complex in 2014. Morgan Stanley has not yet named a replacement for him in the Bethesda-area offices, the spokeswoman said.