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Morgan Stanley Adds Exec, Tech

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Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, which has 18,087 financial advisors, tapped managing director James F. Walker to head its consulting services, which provides investment consulting and managed-account services.

Walker, 47, succeeds James J. Tracy, who is now COO of distribution and development for wealth management in the United States.

Morgan Stanley says that its consulting-services group has more than $385 billion in client assets and a market share of more than 20 percent for managed accounts. The company says that, according to Cerulli Associates, it is the top firm in several of managed-account categories, including unified managed accounts (with a 34 percent market share).

Walker previously worked as director of finance, risk and strategy for Citi Global Wealth Management Investments and spent 20-plus years with Merrill Lynch’s global wealth management group.

For its institutional clients, Morgan Stanley recently made available a Morgan Stanley Research App for the iPad and iPhone. It lets these clients view global research on 2,600-plus stocks, fixed-income information, currency news and more from these mobile

“It’s a powerful tool for instantly delivering the Risk-Reward Essentials for which Morgan Stanley Research is known: market intelligence to identify the investor debates driving a stock; scenarios accounting for a full range of plausible outcomes; and evidence-based research that helps investors maximize the returns for the risks they choose to take,” explained Barry Hurewitz, COO of investment research.

The application also gives institutional investors access to Morgan Stanley publications (Global Executive Brief, Global Debates Playbook, Best Ideas, Investment Perspectives and FX Pulse) on their iPads and iPhones, in addition to the company’s risk-reward analysis.

Morgan Stanley Smith Barney recently recruited a team of financial advisers from Wells Fargo Advisors: Ben Dembin and Francis Schiavetti of Boca Raton. The team reportedly produces about $1.2 million in annual fees and commissions and manages $107 million in client assets.

In early July, MSSB attracted two teams from UBS in New York and Canton, Ohio, for instance, while in late May it lost a Charlotte, N.C.-based team to Baird.

Also this summer, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) censured and fined Morgan Stanley $800,000 for failing to make public disclosures required by FINRA’s rules governing research-analyst conflicts of interest.


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