Morgan Stanley picks new leader for sales to the very wealthy

NEW YORK Wed May 14, 2014 5:26pm EDT

NEW YORK May 14 (Reuters) - Morgan Stanley on Wednesday named Eric Benedict, an 18-year veteran of the brokerage firm, to run its U.S. private wealth management business for clients with $20 million or more to invest.

Benedict most recently ran Morgan Stanley Wealth Management's capital markets unit, which seeks sophisticated investments, trading and capital-raising strategies for wealthy families and individual clients. The middle-market capital markets group that he led was moved to wealth management from Morgan Stanley's institutional business last year.

Benedict replaces Doug Ketterer, who was promoted in February to oversee strategy and client management in the wealth management division. Benedict reports jointly to Ketterer and Shelley O'Connor, who was promoted to run the firm's far-flung retail brokerage network earlier this year.

Morgan Stanley is the world's largest retail brokerage firm, as measured by its more than 17,000 brokers. It and other large brokerage firms have increasingly incentivized their brokers to work only with clients who have $250,000 or more to invest.

"Morgan Stanley has a long tradition of delivering differentiated service to ultra high net worth clients and families," wealth management head Greg Fleming wrote in a memo Wednesday to employees. "Under Eric's leadership we intend to intensify our focus on this critical client segment."

Benedict's role as head of capital markets sales and product management has been assumed by Vince Lumia. A former broker who joined Morgan Stanley in 1999, Lumia most recently has worked under Benedict in capital markets. He reports to Andy Saperstein, head of U.S. investment products and services. (Reporting By Jed Horowitz; Editing by Tom Brown)

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