Morgan Stanley Hires Sterling Shea, the “Face” of Barron’s Top Advisors
Morgan Stanley hasn’t always led the national rankings of “top advisors” flaunted by firms, but it just hired the head of Barron’s wealth and asset management business to coach its massive salesforce on making the cut.
Shea, 47, has been the face of Barron’s at some 30 conferences held annually at luxury resorts and attended by fee-paying advisors and wealth industry executives. The Boston College alumnus helped build recognition programs for “elite” practitioners across the independent brokers and full-service channels, according to his online biography, and initiated rankings for registered investment advisors in 2004 as the “breakaway” movement from wirehouses was beginning to take root.
Alison Rooney, who was in charge of content development for the Dow Jones wealth projects, is moving with him to Morgan Stanley.
“The team is perhaps best known for their industry-leading rankings of top Financial Advisors in the US and Australia, and for Barron’s Advisor conference series, which Sterling launched in 2004,” field management head Vince Lumia wrote in a memo to advisors on Monday.
“At Morgan Stanley, Sterling will contribute to many aspects of our practice management, training and development and Advisor assessment functions, as well as assist in the development and utilization of the many resources available to our Advisors.”
The Barron’s rankings purport to go beyond recognition of core sales skills as measured by assets under management and client net worth.
Editors evaluate “quality” of advice and philanthropic work, among other criteria, but firms tend to recommend their most productive advisors for the honors and the lists have occasionally highlighted advisors who subsequently fell from grace with regulators and clients.
Jack Otter, an editor-at-large at Barron’s, will replace Shea as global head of wealth and asset management at Dow Jones, a company spokesman said.