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Commoner

Morgan Stanley to move retail bank to Charlotte?

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I'll add this in the Wachovia thread; hopefully, the rumor will pick up enough steam that it warrants its own.

My hairdresser's dogsitter's realtor's brother-in-law says that Morgan Stanley may base its new retail bank in Charlotte. MS, if you recall, submitted to federal regulation as a Financial Holding Company (rather than a stand-alone investment bank) in September or October, at the same time as Goldman Sachs, in order to facilitate the acquisition of bank deposits, either through acquisition or cultivation.

MS has already hired two Wachovia executives to manage the retail bank.

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Banktown will rise again!!!!! :tough:

In all seriousness, we do have a lot of office space about to hit the market and drive down rents, NC is bank friendly, and many bank experienced people are hitting the job market locally between The Bank Formerly Known As Wachovia, Bank of America, and the other banks here.

Interesting rumor indeed.

Update to the rumor:

MS is said to be shopping for office space. (not joking)

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while thats definitely awesome news (if true), uptown still needs to diversify more than anything, so i hope this doesn't totally squelch what i thought was a clear wake-up-call to that end.

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while thats definitely awesome news (if true), uptown still needs to diversify more than anything, so i hope this doesn't totally squelch what i thought was a clear wake-up-call to that end.

Agreed. Let's bring in as many new headquarters in as many different fields as possible. But, let's also build on our current strengths.

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For what it's worth, Morgan Stanley's CEO is a native of Mooresville and a graduate of Duke.

This is true. CC Davies left Wachovia last week to start there retail business and she is not moving!

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In the announcement of Cee Cee (sp?) being named head of retail banking, MS also said they were going shopping for an existing retail bank with a deposit base. That said, I would think they would retain a lot of staff from whoever they end up buying, but certainly concentration some HQ functions in Charlotte would make sense.

I'm not sure who they would target...maybe Regions or 5/3?

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MS CEO John Mack also has 2 unbelievable houses on Figure 8 island just up from Wrightsville Beach. If this is true it would be truly wonderful for Charlotte and would help take the sting out of the Wachovia fiasco too.

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Given the couple random facts we have thrown together, I hope people in the CRVA, Chamber, and City of Charlotte can court MS to help make their decision easier.

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Update to the rumor:

MS is said to be shopping for office space. (not joking)

How much space do they need and how soon do they need it?

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Well, it looks like Morgan Stanley may be shopping for uptown office space as well-- as much as 150,000 sqft to house their retail bank operations. Some real estate brokers are speculating this in Charlotte Biz journal article. If someone that has an account can get more detail out of the full article, that would be great :)

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There isn't really a great spot for Morgan Stanley at the moment. If I had to guess, I bet the end up in 440 S. Church (the Novare office tower) with a 5 year lease, and look to anchor something on Tryon (maybe 631 N Tryon). This would have been a perfect Trump tenant, but I think that project is deader than dead at the moment. There aren't many available sites on Tryon right now. I don't see them as a good 300 S Tryon tenant, but who knows.

The good news in all of this, assuming MS does come, Wells does keep a large presence, and even GMAC relocates to Charlotte, it should help BofA stay anchored here.

Edit. Glancing at the Atlanta Business Chronical today, the news is that BofA could relocate 650 jobs from the BofA tower their (Atlanta's tallest building) to Charlotte unless the economic development authority issues bonds to renovate their office space. This is according to the building owner. Sounds like a bluff to me and BofA denies it, but interesting none the less.

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The good news in all of this, assuming MS does come, Wells does keep a large presence, and even GMAC relocates to Charlotte, it should help BofA stay anchored here.

Exactly! Who knows, after all this stuff pans out, Charlotte may better for it b/c we have a larger presence of different financial firms here.

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In the announcement of Cee Cee (sp?) being named head of retail banking, MS also said they were going shopping for an existing retail bank with a deposit base. That said, I would think they would retain a lot of staff from whoever they end up buying, but certainly concentration some HQ functions in Charlotte would make sense.

I'm not sure who they would target...maybe Regions or 5/3?

It's Cece (FWIW) and I think they'll certainly have to buy an existing deposit base. They would have a long way to go to expand their current offerings and to make them cost effective for even marginally wealthy consumers. Cece isn't a de novo specialist or anything.

I can't begin to imagine who they would target. Given MS's depressed share price and the inability to raise any capital (other than what they already have from Mitsubishi and from Hank the Bald) I think they'll have to start smaller than Regions, Fifth Third and BB&T. Perhaps something the size of M&T, First Horizon, Synovus or Bank of Oklahoma? It's not like they can afford to dive deeper into certain asset classes.

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Well, it looks like Morgan Stanley may be shopping for uptown office space as well-- as much as 150,000 sqft to house their retail bank operations. Some real estate brokers are speculating this in Charlotte Biz journal article. If someone that has an account can get more detail out of the full article, that would be great :)

What you saw is the whole CBJ article. Its just a 2 paragraph deal in table talk followed by talks of Nascar Hall of Fame having a lot of trouble selling sponsorships

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I heard from brokers, not that article, that 100k-125k was what they were looking for. I bet when Morgan Stanley looks for office space they do so through the big wigs/all star brokers at a national firm, or the owner in a smaller, local, well respected firm. I bet either Childress Klein or CB Richard Ellis will be doing the deal.

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Goodness. Was that it? The article said this was local speculation over the departure of Wachovia execs to MS.

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No, local brokers have been contacted by Morgan Stanley about office space uptown. The speculation is that this would be for the retail bank HQ because two execs at Wachovia were cherry-picked by MS.

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No, local brokers have been contacted by Morgan Stanley about office space uptown. The speculation is that this would be for the retail bank HQ because two execs at Wachovia were cherry-picked by MS.

A large local broker I know confirmed the same.

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Morgan Stanley hired two more Charlotte-based Wachovia execs to its newly created retail bank, including Ben Jenkins (named as senior advisor) who previously ran Wachovia's general bank. This, along with the chatter in the commercial brokerage community seems to be a strong sign that Morgan Stanley will headquarters its retail division here.

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^To add to this, I talked to several people that are still on with Wachovia/Wells. There is a lot of talk amongst the uptown Wells workerforce that Morgan Stanley will be making the move in the near future. Some of those same people are ready to jump ship to MS, even if they are kept on board. I think the Ben Jenkins hire is a pretty strong indicator, too.

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^To add to this, I talked to several people that are still on with Wachovia/Wells. There is a lot of talk amongst the uptown Wells workerforce that Morgan Stanley will be making the move in the near future. Some of those same people are ready to jump ship to MS, even if they are kept on board. I think the Ben Jenkins hire is a pretty strong indicator, too.

I'll echo the same thing, from everyone I know in WB/WFC's retail side in Charlotte. If MS does base its retail franchise here, and if they continue hiring WB retail talent, I think MS might take a huge bite out of WFC's deposit base in the metro area.

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They still need branches though....still no more word on where they will acquire those. If they are HQ'd here, I could see them doing some ground-up branches in the metro, but it certainly not an efficient way to enter retail banking. They're going to have to acquire someone. At this point, I'm not sure how selective they will be with their geography. Now that stocks like Region's and 5/3's stock prices have been hammered hard, they could be compelling targets, with government backing of course. :)

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Well, this would be some welcome news for Charlotte if indeed the headquarters did come here. Wonder if they'd eventually build a headquarters tower? ;)

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