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Rating:Gorman Leaves MS Branch Chiefs Smiling Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Friday, March 10, 2006

Gorman Leaves MS Branch Chiefs Smiling

Reported by Sean Hanna, Editor in Chief

When Morgan Stanley lured Merrill Lynch's James Gorman to head up its brokerage business, the buzz on the street was that Gorman would replay the harsh measures he used to turn around Merrill's brokerage business. That speculation was likely off base.

Last week Morgan Stanley flew all of its brokerage branch managers to Orlando's Omni hotel to meet Gorman and hear directly from him how he will turn the business around. And they liked what they heard. You could even say they were inspired.

If nothing else, the charismatic Gorman will provide new energy to the brokerage force. Fund executives saw a glimpse of Gorman's leadership when he addressed the ICI General Membership meeting a few years ago.

Managers at the meeting told the MFWire that Gorman promised there will be none of the firings and branch closings many had feared. Indeed, it looks like Morgan Stanley is instead investing in the business to build its stature.

Only a month into the job, Gorman appears to already putting his positive playbook into action by luring Michael Rogers, another Merrill alum, to head up the brokerage firm's Southern California business.

Rogers takes the title of regional director for Morgan Stanley's private wealth management group and will work from Los Angeles. Those are the same responsibilities he had at Merrill.

Rogers is tasked with building more business with affluent investors. For brokers, that is obviously the less painful way to add to the average account balance at the firm (the more painful way being to fire brokers whose books are not up to snuff). 

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