Morgan Stanley has recruited Michael Brakey from Bank of America Corp. as head of high net worth lending in its latest move to build up its private banking unit.
In an internal memorandum reviewed by Dow Jones Newswires, Shelley O'Connor, chief executive of Morgan Stanley Private Bank NA, and Mark Connolly, head of products for the business, announced the hire to employees on Tuesday.
Brakey, a 21-year industry veteran, is assigned with leading the continued development of lending products, including commercial and securities-based loans, within the investment bank's private banking group. He reports to Connolly.
Morgan Stanley, which has roughly 200 private bankers, is beefing up its lending capabilities for its wealthiest clients. Private bankers typically team up with some of the roughly 17,800 financial advisors in its Morgan Stanley Smith Barney brokerage joint venture.
The firm named O'Connor as head of the private bank last October, replacing Cecelia Stewart, who left the firm to lead Citigroup Inc.'s U.S. consumer and commercial banking division.
Stewart left Morgan Stanley as the investment bank shifted its priorities away from plans in late 2008 to acquire a commercial bank to forming Wall Street's largest brokerage.
On a recent conference call with analysts, Morgan Stanley chief financial officer Ruth Porat said the firm is "looking to add about 30 [private bankers] a year."
Before joining Morgan Stanley, Brakey worked for 17 years at Merrill Lynch, now part of Bank of America. Most recently, he was head of global wealth credit strategy and investment lending and previously led Merrill's consumer lending, Americas operations and was head of its global securities based loan business.
Brett Philbin is a reporter for Dow Jones Newswires, where this story originally appeared. Write to him here.