$2.2 billion adviser team defects from Morgan Stanley to go independent

The 13-person team felt they would have more flexibility outside the Morgan framework

Sep 12, 2016 @ 4:22 pm

By Greg Iacurci

A 13-person team managing $2.2 billion in assets has defected from Morgan Stanley to form an independent registered investment adviser, 6 Meridian, based in Wichita, Kansas, the new firm announced today.

The team, comprised of seven advisers and partners in the firm along with additional support staff, felt there was more flexibility available by operating outside the Morgan Stanley umbrella, in areas such as portfolio management, wealth-planning tools, technology providers and custodians, according to chief executive Margaret Dechant and chief investment officer Andrew Mies.

(More: See all the latest moves in the Advisers on the Move database)

That's been the case for many large wirehouse teams who leave to go independent — rather than being motivated by financial considerations, they're driven primarily by freedom from what some see as a fairly short leash.

“We were coming up against limitations that were prohibitive” in terms of the way the firm wanted to manage money in-house for clients, Mr. Mies said.

For example, the RIA has strategies that would be a logical fit inside a mutual fund structure, but registering and launching a mutual fund isn't something “you'd ever be able to do at Morgan,” Mr. Mies said. However, being an independent RIA allows for it, he said.

Morgan Stanley spokeswoman Christine Jockle declined to comment.

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