MS Shuffles Again, Shifts Dedicated Wealth Traders Back to Capital Markets
Morgan Stanley’s continuing quest to squeeze expenses through cross-managing and to add revenue through cross-selling took a new twist this week, leading to yet more management shifts.
The company is consolidating its dedicated bond trading desk for wealth management clients into its broader institutional trading division, a spokeswoman confirmed.
Elizabeth Dennis, who took the reins of wealth trading and moved to wealth headquarters in Purchase, New York, just last summer after more than a decade in institutional capital markets jobs at Morgan Stanley, will now run “lead generation.” She will try to increase referrals between institutional bankers and brokers in the upper-echelon private wealth management unit.
The shift follows the unexpected departure in February of Raj Dhanda, a 26-year Morgan Stanley veteran who had worked closely with Dennis. Dhanda similarly spent most of his career in banking and capital markets, but shifted to run investment products and services for the growing wealth management division in March 2015.
His departure followed the equally unexpected decision by wealth management head Greg Fleming to leave the bank after he lost his quest to become president of the company.
The dizzying management shifts continue to perplex middle managers. “What is wrong with these decision makers at the top of MSWM,” a reader wrote us late Wednesday as Dennis was preparing to discuss her change with employees.
Andy Saperstein, who along with Shelley O’Connor replaced Fleming, told Bloomberg News that the decision to centralize wealth trading with the broader capital markets unit is part of a broader consolidation of corporate, government and municipal bond trading at the firm. The centralization will provide more liquidity and better institutional-quality research for upper-echelon wealth management clients, he said.
As part of the move, “some” wealth management traders based in Purchase will move to New York, according to Bloomberg. The spokeswoman did not comment on whether jobs will be lost or on how the latest reorganization fits into the new “streamline” project Morgan Stanley recently announced to reduce redundancies.
In her new role, Dennis will continue to report to Vince Lumia, who last year He had previously run the wealth trading unit that Dennis had been managing.
Kevin Lynyak, who had reported to Dennis in the wealth management capital markets, will be the capital markets pointman for wealth advisors. He will report jointly to Pat Haskell, who runs institutional fixed income and commodities trading, and Ben Huneke, wealth management’s head of investment solutions.
The shifts follow Morgan Stanley’s decision earlier this month to reorganize its product support teams by shifting its members from complexes to broader regions. As a result the complex business development manager position has been eliminated and compensation formulas have changed.