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Morgan Stanley veteran Sharma joins Fleming’s Rockefeller

(Bloomberg) — Ruchir Sharma, a former Morgan Stanley executive, is joining Rockefeller Capital Management as the wealth advisory 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 begin in February. 14 as managing director and chairman of Rockefeller Capital’s international arm, according to a statement Thursday from the New York-based firm.

According to the statement, the 47-year-old will report to Rockefeller Capital’s chief executive officer Greg Fleming and will sit on the company’s management committee. He also plans to start an investment firm, Breakout Capital, of which Rockefeller Capital will be a partner.

Rockefeller Capital, formed in 2018 with approximately $18 billion under management, is expanding rapidly through acquisitions under Fleming, who previously ran Merrill Lynch’s global investment bank and was chairman of Morgan Stanley Wealth Management. As of the end of 2021, Rockefeller Capital had approximately $95 billion in client assets.

In many cases, Fleming strengthened the company with the talents of his former employers. After scooping up wealth firm Moore Group from Morgan Stanley in 2020, he added more teams from Banks and Merrill Lynch last year. Rockefeller Capital also named Morgan Stanley’s chief compliance officer as general counsel in 2020.

“It was a great ride at Morgan Stanley,” said Sharma, who joined US Bank in 1996 and managed about $20 billion there. His move came “after a bit of thinking, ‘What should your next 10 or 20 years look like?

Sharma said he is excited about the international markets, which he sees as a growth area in the coming decades.

“The US accounts for 25% of the global economy, but now accounts for 60% of the global market cap,” said Sharma, author of “Breakout Nations” and “The Rise and Fall of Nations.” “It’s a huge disconnect that has happened with the US market performing so well.”

In its first move outside the US, Rockefeller Capital created a London branch for its asset-management arm last year to strengthen its European presence. Backed by the hedge fund Viking Global Investors, the firm is an offshoot of Rockefeller & Company, which was once the company’s noted founder John D. Rockefeller’s family office. With approximately 850 employees, it now serves wealthy families, endowments and foundations.

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