Raymond James Lures Another Morgan Stanley Manager
Gregg Stupinski, who has managed Morgan Stanley’s wealth-studded Naples complex on Florida’s Gulf Coast for seven years and has been with the firm and predecessor Smith Barney for more than 24 years, resigned this week to join Raymond James Financial.
His departure follows RayJay’s hiring last month of William Drew, who left his post as a Morgan Stanley complex manager in Boston after 23 years with the firm and Smith Barney.
The management shifts highlight the growing vulnerability of wirehouses to departures of “field” managers, whose mandates are changing from recruiting to build branch revenue to retention. The job is challenged by pressures to convince veteran brokers schooled on stock recommendations to work on teams, move clients to fee-based advisory accounts and sell bank products and services.
The management challenge is intensified at Morgan Stanley because retention bonuses given to Smith Barney brokers almost a decade ago matured this year.
Raymond James, for its part, has aggressively recruited advisers and managers with the pitch that brokers have more freedom to manage their practices than they do at larger competitors. The Florida-based firm last week recruited two Morgan Stanley advisers who were generating more than $1 million at a Morgan Stanley branch in Boca Raton. RayJay’s south Florida Atlantic coast complex is run by Bert White, who left Morgan Stanley in February 2017.
A Morgan Stanley spokeswoman confirmed Stupinski’s departure but declined further comment. Stupinski, whose LinkedIn profile says he oversaw branches in West Palm Beach, Miami, Ft. Myers and some 60 brokers in his home office of Naples, could not be reached.
Spokespeople at Raymond James did not respond to requests for comment on the role he will take.
Stupinski began his brokerage career in 1993 at Alex. Brown & Sons Inc.—which is now a division of Raymond James—but shifted after one year to Smith Barney, which Morgan Stanley subsequently absorbed.In other signs of Morgan Stanley’s field management conundrum, Florida, in the last few weeks it transferred veteran New York branch manager Frank Novello to manage its Boca Raton subcomplex and shifted another Manhattan management veteran, Michael Simeone, to oversee its high-net-worth “private wealth management” brokers in Chicago. Their positions managing the large New York City offices remain unfilled.