(Bloomberg) — Former Morgan Stanley executive Ruchir Sharma is joining Rockefeller Capital Management as the wealth adviser expands its services to the world’s super-rich.
Sharma, previously chief global strategist and head of emerging markets at Morgan Stanley Investment Management, will start Feb. 14 as managing director and chairman of Rockefeller Capital’s international unit, according to a statement Thursday from the New York-based firm.
The 47-year-old will report to Rockefeller Capital Chief Executive Officer Greg Fleming and sit on the company’s management committee, according to the statement. He also plans to start an investment firm, Breakout Capital, in which Rockefeller Capital will be a partner.
Rockefeller Capital, formed in 2018 with about $18 billion under management, has been expanding rapidly through acquisitions under Fleming, who previously ran Merrill Lynch’s global investment bank and was president of Morgan Stanley Wealth Management. By the end of 2021, Rockefeller Capital had about $95 billion in client assets.
In many cases, Fleming bolstered the company with talent from his former employers. After scooping up wealth firm Moore Group from Morgan Stanley in 2020, he added further teams from the bank and Merrill Lynch last year. Rockefeller Capital also brought in a former Morgan Stanley chief compliance officer as general counsel in 2020.
“It was a glorious ride at Morgan Stanley,” said Sharma, who joined the U.S. bank in 1996 and managed about $20 billion there. His move came after “thinking a bit in terms of, ‘What should your next 10 or 20 years look like?’”
Sharma said he’s bullish on international markets, which he sees as a growth area in coming decades.
“The U.S. has 25% of the global economy but 60% now of the global market cap,” said Sharma, the author of “Breakout Nations” and “The Rise and Fall of Nations.” “That’s a huge disconnect that’s taken place with the U.S. market doing so well.”
In its first move outside the U.S., Rockefeller Capital created a London branch for its asset-management unit last year to bolster its European presence. Backed by hedge fund Viking Global Investors, the firm is an offshoot of Rockefeller & Co., once the family office of the company’s namesake founder, John D. Rockefeller. With almost 850 employees, it now serves wealthy families, endowments and foundations.
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