Morgan Stanley’s James Gorman and Smith Barney’s Charlie Johnston have tapped executives from both brokerage firms to fill key posts in the planned Morgan Stanley Smith Barney joint venture. They have also created a new national branch-office system, U.S. Wealth Management, which is being organized into four areas and 20 regions.

The four areas and their division directors are:

West – Doug Kentfield of Smith Barney;

Central – Rick Skae of Morgan Stanley,

Northeast – Ron Ferrelli of Smith Barney, and

South – Bill McMahon of Morgan Stanley.

Jimmy Tighe and Bob Perry, both executives from Smith Barney, will respectively lead the New York and Los Angeles metro regions. Overall there are 11 Morgan Stanley executives and 9 Smith Barney executives serving as regional directors.

These appointments will become effective at the close of the venture, which is expected to be in the third quarter of 2009, the company says.

John Campbell, now serving as Morgan Stanley’s New York City district manager, will serve as national director of business development for the venture. He reports to Doug Ketterer, COO of U.S. Wealth Management.

The divisional directors of business development are:

West – John Simmons of Morgan Stanley;

Central – Rick Capozzi of Morgan Stanley;

Northeast – Scott Abry of Smith Barney; and

South – Rich Less of Morgan Stanley.

These appointments will become effective at the close of the venture, which is expected to be in the third quarter of 2009, the company says.