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Former Morgan Stanley Executive to Expand Rockefeller Capital Management

Gregory Fleming, formerly with Morgan Stanley, will expand Rockefeller Capital Management’s asset and wealth management businesses.

  • Alicia McElhaney

Former Morgan Stanley executive Gregory Fleming has teamed up with the Rockefeller family office to form a new firm offering wider wealth and asset management services.

Rockefeller Capital Management will be partly owned by hedge fund Viking Global Investors, a trust representing the Rockefeller family, and the firm’s management, including Chief Executive Officer Fleming, according to an announcement Wednesday from the New York-based family office.

Fleming’s move is part of a broader trend among asset managers, who are increasingly leaving traditional investment jobs to manage money for family offices. Fleming, who worked for more than a decade in Morgan Stanley’s wealth management and investment management businesses, said he plans to expand Rockefeller Capital into a larger financial firm that will include a strategic advisory service.

“I was looking for something entrepreneurial,” Fleming said by phone. “I’m comfortable with the notion of a small firm that we’re focused on growing.”

Rockefeller, which oversees a total $16.6 billion of assets, now offers wealth management services for ultra-high-net-worth individuals, as well as asset management for families and institutions including foundations and endowments, according to Fleming.

He plans to expand the firm’s asset management business, which includes strategies in global equities, fixed-income and environment, social and corporate governance. “We are building out our distribution capabilities covering the institutional client,” Fleming said.

He added that the firm plans to begin offering wealth management for high-net-worth individuals with $5 million and $10 million to invest, and will start a strategic advisory business for wealthy entrepreneurs who want to change business strategies or sell their companies.

As part of the expansion, Rockefeller Capital Management intends to hire investment bankers, analysts, portfolio managers and financial advisors over time, according to Fleming.

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“We’re creating a broader footprint for the family,” Fleming said. “We’re hoping Rockefeller is an even more widely recognized name with a greater set of clients.”

While terms of the Rockefeller deal were not disclosed, a person familiar with the matter confirmed a Wall Street Journal report that Viking paid in the low nine-figures for a majority stake and committed to invest more.

David Rockefeller Jr. and Peter O’Neill, both members of the Rockefeller family, will sit on the board along with Reuben Jeffery III, the former under-secretary of State for Economic, Business, and Agricultural Affairs under George W. Bush, and Brian Kaufmann, a portfolio manager at Viking.

“The name is unique,” Fleming said. “It’s a spectacular brand with cross-generational resonance.”