Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo Bid Adieu to South Florida Managers
Palm Beach, Florida, has long been a haven for retired wealthy people and the brokerage firms serving them, but its population of brokerage firm managers has shrunk in recent days.
Tim Ratty, the manager of Wells Fargo Advisors’ four-office West Palm Beach complex left the company on Thursday, while Morgan Stanley bid adieu to Robert P. McCabe, its West Palm branch manager in the past two weeks.
Each had been with their firms since 2009, and had previously worked at Citigroup’s Smith Barney, according to their BrokerCheck histories, which as of Friday recorded them as still working at their Florida locations. Neither of the managers could be reached for comment.
A Wells spokeswoman confirmed Ratty’s departure but declined to discuss the reason and said he has not yet been replaced.
Several sources inside and outside of Morgan Stanley confirmed McCabe’s ouster, which one attributed to some “procedural” oversights. A Morgan Stanley spokeswoman declined to comment.
Ratty had run the 53-broker Wells complex for two years, and was previously based in Fort Lauderdale as regional manager of the company’s in-bank brokerage business, according to his LinkedIn biography and firm websites. In 2013, the New Jersey emigrant was characterized in a top manager list by Bank Investment Consultant magazine as “unflappable in a crisis and still responsive to his advisors’ needs.”
McCabe’s departure from the Morgan Stanley branch that houses 54 brokers, according to its website, follows a daisy chain of management changes in south Florida.
His former complex manager, Bert White, left in January 2017 and is now with Raymond James. White was replaced at the 175-broker Boca Raton West complex by Tim Byrnes, who has been Morgan Stanley’s southeast region head during a 2017 reorganization. (Byrnes’ Atlanta-based successor, Michael Struckman, abruptly left Morgan Stanley last month.)
Byrnes remains complex manager, but Morgan Stanley is combining two of its four Boca Raton offices due to the expiration of a lease. The combined downtown Boca branch will be run by Michael F. Higgins, who had been in charge of the Palmetto Road office. Morgan Stanley periodically consolidates legacy Smith Barney and Dean Witter offices.
McCabe began his career as a registered securities rep in 1984, with Buckingham Securities, and also worked at L.F. Rothschild and Dean Witter Reynolds, as well as at Smith Barney and its Lehman Brothers predecessor.
Ratty began his career at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter in 1998, before moving to Smith Barney in 2003. He was reabsorbed into Morgan Stanley when it purchased the Citigroup-owned brokerage in 2009.