Veteran Morgan Stanley California Manager Cynthia Newman to Leave

10 Jan    Investing News

Cynthia L. Newman, a longtime manager at Morgan Stanley who oversees its Pasadena, California, complex, is leaving “to pursue other opportunities,” according to a memo sent to employees in the complex’ four branches.

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Newman gained notoriety last year when the “Los Angeles Times” reported that she hired Rick Singer, mastermind of the $25-million college admissions scandal, to help her children. Sources at the firm have said that Newman also promoted him as a resource to advisors.

A spokeswoman for Morgan Stanley, which until 2015 had included Singer on a list of service providers offered to wealthy clients, declined to comment on Newman’s planned departure. 

After Singer was charged by federal authorities last March, the wirehouse fired a producer in her complex who allegedly introduced clients to Singer.

Newman, who has not been accused of any crimes, did not respond to requests for comment left at her office and with her husband, Robert, a Morgan Stanley broker in Los Angeles.

Morgan Stanley will not be replacing Newman, according to the internal memo. It is instead eliminating the Pasadena complex (which also includes offices in Claremont, Riverside and Palm Desert), merging the offices into a reconfigured Los Angeles complex run by Gregory Laetsch, according to the memo. 

Laetsch, a 40-year veteran of Morgan Stanley and its Smith Barney predecessor, will hand supervision of the Sherman Oaks branch in his complex to Woodland Hills complex manager Brian Krueger and of the Brea and Santa Ana branches to South Coast complex manager Lance Million, according to the memo.  

Newman began her career in 1981 as a client service associate at Merrill Lynch, and quickly “migrated” to become a financial advisor before joining Morgan Stanley in 2004 as a full-time manager and transitioning her practice to her husband, according to her LinkedIn profile. 

Her 21-year advisor career also included multi-year stints at Drexel Burnham Lambert and UBS, according to her BrokerCheck history, which contains a single customer complaint from 2001 alleging unsuitable and unauthorized trading in junk bond funds. The $100,000 claim was settled for just $50,000, the database says.

Robert N. Newman declined to comment on his wife’s plans, but said in a brief office phone conversation on Thursday that he “is not going anywhere.”

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