Former head of Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, Greg Fleming, has returned to Wall Street with ambitious plans to reboot the 135-year old Rockefeller family office.
Fleming has been appointed as chief executive of Rockefeller Capital Management, a new independent wealth advisor firm, formed by a deal between Rockefeller Financial Services and hedge fund firm Viking Global Investors.
According to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), the deal means Viking owns the majority of the firm, for which it paid ‘a low nine figure sum’, with the Rockefellers maintaining around a 10% stake. Fleming and other board members of the new firm are investors in the company too, via Viking.
Viking plans to invest further in the firm to expand its asset management focus beyond its current equity and ESG specialisms, boost its wealth management services, and add on a corporate advisory business.
A statement announcing the deal said: 'The ownership group anticipates making substantial additional capital investments in Rockefeller over multiple years. This will provide the capital necessary for Rockefeller to execute its strategy, enabling the firm to broaden its products and services and accelerate its growth.'
Rockefeller has around $16.2 billion in assets under advice for high-net-worth individuals, family offices, foundations and endowments.
It was established in 1882 when John D. Rockefeller set up a family office to manage his growing oil wealth. According to the WSJ, it began taking in outside money in 1979 and today the Rockefeller family wealth accounts for around one third of assets.
David Rockefeller Jr, chairman of Rockefeller Financial Services, said: ‘The team at Rockefeller Financial Services has spent years building the highest-quality investment management firm for families and institutions. We look forward to Greg’s leadership and Viking’s support to expand the Rockefeller platform and bring new products and services to our clients.’
Fleming left Morgan Stanley in January 2016, having risen to be president of its wealth management business. He had previously been president of its investment management arm and prior to that had been president and chief operations officer at Merrill Lynch.
According to the Wall Street Journal, which cited sources familiar with the situation, since leaving Morgan Stanley Fleming considered taking on roles with Pimco and Blackstone but decided against another position as an executive at a public company.