Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS)
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1 Month : From Jan 2020 to Feb 2020
By Juliet Chung
Morgan Stanley executive Rich Portogallo, who helped build the bank's prime-brokerage business into a Wall Street powerhouse, is retiring after 34 years at the firm, according to an internal memo circulated Wednesday.
Mr. Portogallo joined Morgan Stanley in 1986 as one of the first employees of the firm's then-fledgling prime-brokerage business, and over the next two decades helped it become a top competitor, catering to hedge funds and other big trading customers as he rose through the ranks.
Prime-brokerage businesses lend cash and securities to asset managers and structure and execute trades for them. A bank's prime-brokerage business can also foster relationships that bring in lucrative fees from other parts of the bank.
Morgan Stanley lost a significant chunk of its prime-brokerage business in 2008, when hedge funds pulled their money following the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. The en-masse exits by asset managers threatened to fell Morgan Stanley.
Mr. Portogallo helped the company overhaul its prime-brokerage operations and woo back clients. Many Wall Street banks tried to rebuild their prime-brokerage businesses, at least partly to insulate themselves from the impacts of another client exodus. Morgan Stanley is among the few that now dominate the prime-brokerage landscape.
"There is no name more synonymous with the prime brokerage business at Morgan Stanley than Rich Portogallo," Ted Pick, Morgan Stanley's chief of trading and investment banking, wrote in the memo announcing Mr. Portogallo's retirement.
"Some of the firm's most established clients of today were only an entrepreneur's vision when Rich first identified, connected and institutionalized their business aspirations," Mr. Pick wrote.
Known to colleagues and clients as Richie, Mr. Portogallo was most recently Morgan Stanley's global head of institutional equities clients and services. He worked at Dean Witter Reynolds before joining Morgan Stanley and was promoted to managing director in 1994. He later was named global head of prime brokerage.
Mr. Portogallo, 60 years old, is retiring in March; his reports will report to the global heads of equities, Alan Thomas, David Russell and Gokul Laroia.
Write to Juliet Chung at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
January 22, 2020 09:15 ET (14:15 GMT)
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