Morgan Stanley Smith Barney has shuffled two of its top executives as it aims to bolster ties its Consulting Group business has with the firm's wealth advisory services and the clients its advisory force serves.
Consulting Group head Jim Walker has been named head of product strategy, with Jim Tracy stepping in to serve as new Consulting Group leader. The moves were disclosed in a memo from Morgan Stanley executive Andy Saperstein to the brokerage business's U.S. employees on Wednesday.
Consulting Group is a division of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney serving both individual and institutional clients. The new roles come after Saperstein was named head of the investment products and services business - a new division combining investment strategy and client solutions with the capital markets businesses-in June.
Walker's promotion comes two years after he was tapped to lead the Consulting Group succeeding Tracy, who moved to the post of chief operating officer of distribution and development for U.S. wealth management at the time.
In his new role, Walker will report to Saperstein and private banking group head Shelley O'Connor. He will be responsible for "distribution strategies, client experience, market intelligence and the coordination of marketing activities" between the investment products and services business and the firm's private bank, the memo said. His work on product strategy will also include the private banking business.
Walker came to the firm from Citi Smith Barney, and has 27 years of industry experience after first starting out as an advisor at Merrill Lynch in 1985.
Tracy will now serve in the expanded role of Consulting Group leader as the firm strives to strengthen the tie between the wealth advisory services it provides and its advisors' ability to serve their clients, Saperstein's memo said. In his new role, Tracy will also lead Graystone Consulting, financial planning solutions, the family director program and wealth planning centers. He reports to Saperstein.
Tracy has almost 30 years of wealth industry experience including his current role as head of national sales and business development for Morgan Stanley's U.S. wealth management business. He previously served as director of the Consulting Group for five years.
The new appointments come after Morgan Stanley streamlined its brokerage business regions last month, down to 12 from 16, resulting in four management position cuts.