(Corrects first name of equities head Forlenza in fourth
paragraph to Peter, not Richard)
By Jed Horowitz
NEW YORK, May 16 (Reuters) - Jefferies Group has hired
Michael Armstrong, a former head of private wealth management at
Morgan Stanley, to run its small wealth-management group,
according to several industry sources.
Armstrong will join next week to oversee almost 50 brokers
in Jefferies' nine wealth management offices in the United
States, London and Dubai. The brokers primarily sell investments
and financial planning services to employees of Jefferies'
middle-market investment banking clients and to employees of
Leucadia National Corp, Jefferies' parent company.
Armstrong replaces Mark Peters, who left in late December to
join hedge fund Whippoorwill Associates after expressing
frustration over restraints on the growth plans he had for the
wealth division, according to people familiar with his decision.
Peters, who did not return calls for comment, had joined
Jefferies in 2009.
Armstrong, who is expected to begin at Jefferies' Manhattan
headquarters next Thursday, will report to Peter Forlenza, the
firm's global head of equities. Armstrong did not return
messages left on his cellphone.
In his 25-year career at Morgan Stanley, Armstrong shifted
between managing sales of fixed-income products and services to
middle-market companies and working with retail brokers.
From late 2007 through April 2010 he oversaw about 500
brokers as managing director in charge of Morgan Stanley's
private wealth division, which focuses on individuals and
families with $25 million or more to invest. He also ran
international wealth management, and was in charge of global
capital markets at the wealth division when he left Morgan
Stanley at the end of 2012.
His resume gibes well with Jefferies profile as a debt
trading firm and an investment bank focused on middle-market
companies, sources said. Jefferies has dipped its toe into
wealth management to lock in banking clients by helping
executives of the companies manage their private wealth.
Unlike giants such as Morgan Stanley, which has more than
17,000 brokers, Jefferies' wealth unit is too small to promote
as a distribution network for selling the stocks and bonds of
its corporate clients. Earlier this year, the firm reached an
agreement to sell those companies' initial public offerings and
follow-on stock offerings through discount broker E*Trade
Morgan Stanley, the world's biggest brokerage firm as
measured by its sales force, has been promoting more
collaboration between its wealth management and investment
banking areas. Earlier this week, it promoted Eric Benedict, who
ran its middle-market capital markets unit, to head the private
banking unit for "ultra-high-net-worth" clients that Armstrong
(Reporting by Jed Horowitz)