Morgan Stanley Eases Out Longtime Texas Regional Head
Ronald Thacker, who directed Morgan Stanley’s wealth management business in its 12-state Dallas-based Central region, is leaving the firm.
Thacker, a regional manager in Texas since 2001, according to his LinkedIn profile, did not return a request for comment.
His departure has set off a daisy chain of changes.
Steve Austin, currently director of Morgan Stanley’s Chicago-based Great Lakes region, will replace Thacker in the Central region. “As a Texas native and Texas A&M Aggie, Steve will be returning home,” Lumia wrote.
Rob Meredith, who Morgan Stanley shifted in April from a complex in Baltimore to run its revived New England region, will take the reins of the Great Lakes region. Meredith “in a very short time has done a tremendous job in relaunching the New England region,” Lumia wrote, but “expressed his interest in moving back to the Midwest.”
Meredith is a West Virginia native, whose peripatetic Morgan Stanley branch management career has also taken him to Pittsburgh and Atlanta, according to his LinkedIn profile. His new remit includes branches in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.
Filling out the revamped regional roster is Bradley L. Barber, who will take the New England region reins after running the firm’s Greenwich, Conn.-based Soundview complex, according to the memo. “Brad has been with Morgan Stanley for 28 years and has been an exemplary manager in Soundview,” Lumia wrote.
The shifts highlight continual management talent challenges for large brokerage firms that are gravitating to fee-based revenue models, centralized investment management and team-based producers, requiring cultural shifts for field leaders trying to inspire their brokerage forces. The changes have been exacerbated by reorganizations that have regularly left some veterans homeless.
Morgan Stanley three years ago trimmed its regions from eight to six in order to decentralize and added New England last year as its seventh regions.
UBS Wealth Management USA this month slimmed to three sales divisions from six.
Merrill Lynch has been routinely rotating veteran regional managers and doubling some of their duties, handing Southeast division head Eric Schimpf responsibility for its small-market “community” division after the departure of Ben Prince two years ago and shifting California manager Carole Wentz to head its Dallas-based Texas Mountain South division amid a sea of managerial departures in Texas.
Thacker began his brokerage career at Merrill Lynch in April 1986, according to BrokerCheck. He shifted to Lehman Brothers Inc. in 1989 and joined Morgan Stanley Dean Witter in Dallas in August 1990.
-Jed Horowitz contributed to this story.