Morgan Stanley Wealth advisers leave en masse News20 Nov 2023

Almost 20 private wealth employees, who together oversee some $3 billion in total assets, walked out of Morgan Stanley Wealth Management Australia’s doors on Friday.

It is understood the renegades are set to join the Melbourne and Perth offices of rival stockbroking and wealth management firm Shaw and Partners.

“These advisers are some of the most respected in our industry and felt clients’ relationships come before yearly fee minimums and the like,” Shaws co-chief executive Earl Evans told Street Talk on Sunday.

“One has to respect those values, and we are thrilled to welcome them to Shaw and Partners which has become the place of choice for first-class advisory practitioners over the last decade.”

Sources told this column Joe Di Fede, Geoff Lloyd, Jeanette Brookes, Freya Gunn and Simon Conner were among those advisers from MSWM who hit the pavement on Friday, and are expected to join Shaws’ Melbourne team.
Then there’s Renato Ciancio-Pedretti, Timothy Maschler, Damien Warner, Rachael Tegart, Jenny Rachmat, Stuart Beattie, Mark Palmer and Andrew Foster, all of whom are destined for Shaws’ Perth outpost.

A spokesperson for Morgan Stanley said 13 advisers had left, while it shifted its wealth management business’s focus to bigger-ticket clients.

“We are continuing to invest in and expand our Australia Wealth Management business focusing on the HNW, UHNW and not-for-profit segments. We already have a deep presence in servicing these segments and will continue to enhance our offering to clients,” the MS spokesperson said. “We are focused on hiring advisers that fit with our strategic focus areas.”

The well-regarded Rebecca Hill was installed as head of Morgan Stanley Wealth Management Australia, following the departure of co-head Matthew Nicholls in May, and had sought to stabilise the 90-strong team of advisers.

However, as Street Talk reported, MSWM staff expressed unhappiness following a Hill-led strategic review which resulted in the bulk of the division’s lower-value accounts hived off to rival firms in a bid to pivot the business towards high net worth and ultra-high net worth clients. The review also came on the back of instability that had seen long-time chief Ian Chambers retire and a raft of senior figures depart.

It is understood Anthony Faralla, Sherman Chua, Kenny Tran and Marian Johnston were among support staff who resigned from MSWM last week to join Shaws.

At last count, Shaw and Partners had 185 advisers who manage close to $40 billion in assets. It’s run by Evans and co-CEO Allan Zion and was established 40 years ago

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