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Morgan Stanley hires co-founder of Honest Dollar as head of retirement

Morgan Stanley is looking to the co-founder of Honest Dollar, an online retirement plan firm, to further its efforts to modernize its retirement business.

The company hired Anthony Bunnell to serve as head of retirement, a newly created position, according to an internal memo. He had been working at Goldman Sachs, which he joined when the bank acquired Honest Dollar in 2016.

Maura Coolican, who has led Retirement Plan Solutions, will report to Bunnell, according to the memo written by Brian McDonald, head of Morgan Stanley Work & Digital Solutions.

In the memo, McDonald, highlighted Bunnell’s track record of driving “cultural change in the 401(k) business to an advisor-centric distribution model” at his previous positions he worked at firms such as Prudential and JPMorgan.

Morgan Stanley agreed to sell a business that administers its alternative investment feeder funds to iCapital, a financial-technology firm run by a former Goldman Sachs banker.

Earlier this year, Morgan Stanley bought Solium, a stock plan administration platform that services 3,000 corporate clients and one million plan participants in addition to Morgan Stanley’s existing 320 stock plan clients and 1.5 million participants. The acquisition provides the company with more opportunities to introduce prospective clients to its 15,000 financial advisors.

Bunnell, Coolican and the retirement team will work on developing a “new digital experience that builds brand awareness for Morgan Stanley,” McDonald wrote in the memo.

Morgan Stanley is integrating its suite of financial solutions to meet plan participants “wherever they are on their financial journey,” he wrote.

“Helping organizations effectively manage their retirement plans and maximize the benefits to their employees is a key pillar in our holistic offering, and we are highly focused on growing and modernizing our retirement business while further integrating it with our workplace solutions,” McDonald wrote.

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