Morgan Stanley Taps Ex-Merrill Manager to Run Philadelphia Complex
Katie Flaherty, who resigned as manager of a wealthy Merrill Lynch complex earlier this month, will join Morgan Stanley to run its Philadelphia wealth management offices, according to sources familiar with her and her new firm’s plans.
Flaherty, who had been overseeing five Merrill offices in southern Connecticut, will replace Richard Frick, who left Morgan Stanley in May after a “mutually agreed resignation” that the firm said related to his “manner of communications.”
The move is notable at a time when large brokerage firms have been redefining the jobs of branch and complex managers and endeavoring to hire more women and minority-group candidates as advisors and managers.
Flaherty, who sources said is on a garden leave that prevents her from joining a new firm for two months, declined to comment. A Morgan Stanley spokeswoman neither confirmed nor denied that she would replace Frick. A Merrill Lynch spokeswoman previously declined to comment on Flaherty, who remains listed on her BrokerCheck history as being with the firm.
Her move southward will put her in charge of about ten branches, according to a Morgan Stanley website that says the firm has two offices in Philadelphia proper and in the suburbs of Berwyn, Bryn Mawr, Jenkintown, Yardley, West Conshohocken, Doylestown, Blue Ball and Newtown.
Flaherty had a reputation as an outgoing and effective recruiter, said third-party headhunters. While that skill remains in demand among branch and complex managers, large firms have been cutting their recruiting budgets and paying closer attention to metrics involving broker retention, growth of customer households and assets, and channeling brokers onto teams that offer broad financial planning advice.
For Merrill, Flaherty’s exit diminishes its count of women and veteran managers. She joined the Thundering Herd in 2006, after seven-and-a-half years at Wells Fargo offices in the Midwest and Far West. At Merrill, she rose from working as a credit and lending specialist in Denver to her most recent positions as “market manager” of its branches in Stamford, Darien, New Haven, Westport and Fairfield, Conn., according to her LinkedIn profile.