2 Wachovia execs leaving for Morgan Stanley
Two Wachovia Corp. executives are leaving the Charlotte bank for Morgan Stanley, the New York investment firm whose mid-September merger talks with Wachovia gave both stocks a short boost before fizzling.
Cece Sutton and Jonathan Witter, both of whom work for Wachovia's retail bank, will lead Morgan Stanley's newly created retail bank. Sutton will be president, and Witter will report to her as chief operating officer.
Sutton, a 30-year Wachovia veteran, was Wachovia's head of retail and small business banking. Witter was the retail bank's head of distribution, leading “an integrated network strategy” including branches, ATMs, call centers and online banking.
“While we are sad to see such great leaders leave our company, we wish Cece and Jon the best in their new roles,” said Wachovia spokeswoman Christy Phillips-Brown.
Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs Group Inc., the last two major stand-alone investment firms on Wall Street, became bank holding companies in late September, after watching their peers fail or be bought out. That change has allowed them to start commercial banks to build deposits, a more stable source of funding than the short-term financing they traditionally rely on.
“We are pleased to have these two highly experienced retail banking executives joining Morgan Stanley to lead our retail banking initiatives,” said Morgan Stanley CEO John Mack, a native of Mooresville and a graduate of Duke University. “As we look to grow our deposit base and expand this increasingly important business, we will leverage our existing retail banking capabilities, as well as our new bank holding company structure.”
Reports surfaced Sept. 17 that Morgan Stanley and Wachovia were talking about a merger, though it was unclear which party would be the purchaser. Those talks cooled five days later, when Morgan Stanley announced it would sell a 20 percent stake to a Japanese bank.