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Morgan Stanley loses top tech executive to indie firm

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Morgan Stanley’s wealth management division just lost a top tech executive to an indie firm and has moved quickly to fill the key position. The move is a meaningful one, especially because in recent years Morgan Stanley has heavily invested in improving its suite of digital tools, including a robo advice service.

Sal Cucchiara, who joined Morgan Stanley in 2016, has been named the head of wealth management and technology, according to an internal memo seen by On Wall Street.

“Sal is ideally suited to this role having a long history of leading large and complex technology organizations,” the memo reads. “Since joining the firm, Sal has led a number of our most critical initiatives, including enhancements to our desktop, mobile and investment systems.”

Cucchiara replaces Chris Randazzo, its chief information officer for global wealth management and investment management. The change is effective immediately.

Randazzo, who had been with the firm since 2013, left Morgan Stanley to join Rockefeller Capital Management as head of wealth management and head of technology and operations, according to a company announcement. He oversaw technology platforms across the businesses while with the wirehouse.

Randazzo is reuniting with his former boss Gregory Fleming, who previously served as president of Morgan Stanley and is now the CEO of Rockefeller.

“Chris’s experience developing and implementing state-of-the-art solutions at large organizations is invaluable,” Fleming said in a statement. “Chris understands how top advisors leverage technology to better serve their clients, and he will be critically important in developing the best-in-class tools that will underpin Rockefeller Wealth Management’s differentiated service offerings.”

The Morgan Stanley memo also notes that Merav Pepere will continue in her role as head of banking technology for the firm, leading the technology transformations for Morgan Stanley Bank N.A. and Morgan Stanley Private Bank National Association.

The internal notice comes from Shelley O’Connor and Andy Saperstein, both hold co-head of wealth management titles at the firm. Robert Rooney, the CEO of Morgan Stanley International, head of Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and head of technology, is also listed as a sender.

In recent years, Morgan Stanley has been developing and deploying an ever larger and more robust technology suite to aid its advisors in serving clients.

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