By Brett Philbin
Morgan Stanley Smith Barney head of Investment Products and Services Andy Saperstein is putting his stamp on a recently reorganized business line, naming two veteran executives, Jim Walker and Jim Tracy, to new roles in the brokerage joint venture.
In an internal memorandum to employees, Mr. Saperstein said Mr. Walker would become head of product strategy for Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, while Mr. Tracy will assume leadership of the brokerage's consulting group.
The moves follow Saperstein's appointment to head the business--which married the firm's Investment Strategy & Client Solutions and MSSB Capital Markets--roughly two months ago. Previously, he was head of U.S. Wealth Management at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney.
Morgan Stanley (MS) has a 51% controlling stake in the brokerage joint venture, while 49% is owned by Citigroup Inc. (C).
Mr. Walker, a legacy Smith Barney executive and 27-year industry veteran, will be responsible for developing "product strategy" for the brokerage's investment products and services including private banking as well as coordinating marketing activities across those areas, the memo said.
He reports to Mr. Saperstein and Shelley O'Connor, head of the firm's private banking group.
Mr. Tracy, who also worked at Smith Barney prior to the joint venture, will lead a consulting group that will include Graystone Consulting, Financial Planning Solutions, the Wealth Planning Centers and the Family Director Program, according to the memo.
The consulting group previously included Graystone Consulting, a unit within Morgan Stanley Smith Barney that caters to institutional investors and wealthy clients, but didn't include all of those businesses.
The firm's rationale to expand the business is to link its wealth advisory services and the ability of its financial advisers to "serve high net worth households and institutional clients as comprehensively as possible," according to the memo.
Morgan Stanley is in negotiations with Citi to purchase another 14% of the brokerage venture. The firm has an option to increase its stake in the business in increments between now and 2014.
Last month, The Wall Street Journal reported the two banks had enlisted investment bank Perella Weinberg Partners to appraise the value of their brokerage joint venture, citing people familiar with the situation.
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