Sullivan & Cromwell Scores Roles on Two Wealth Management Deals

Sullivan Cromwell and two other leading global firms have picked up roles this week on deals involving a pair of wealth management divisions.

In one of those transactions, Morgan Stanley announced Wednesday that it has agreed to sell its European private bank to Credit Suisse Group for an undisclosed sum. The unit, which has $13 billion in assets under management, includes all of Morgan Stanley’s wealth management businesses in Africa, the Middle East, and Europe, excluding Switzerland.

Clifford Chance MA partner Roger Moore and associate Candice Hall are taking the lead advising Morgan Stanley on the deal, which is expected to close in the third quarter of this year. The Magic Circle firm represented the New York–based financial services company earlier this month on a real estate deal in Germany.

Clifford Chance’s ties to Morgan Stanley run deep. Last year the firm hired Monica Sah, a former managing director and head of legal for Morgan Stanley Smith Barney’s international wealth management unit, as a financial regulatory and capital markets partner in London. Sah was previously an associate at the firm.

Keith Clark, a former general counsel for Morgan Stanley International, previously served as chairman of Clifford Chance, where he helped broker the firm’s groundbreaking transatlantic merger with Rogers Wells in 2000. Clark left the London office of the combined firm (whose integration issues were well chronicled in The American Lawyer) and joined Morgan Stanley in 2001.

Clark retired in 2009, around the same time that former Morgan Stanley in-house legal chief Gary Lynch was promoted to vice-chairman of the banking giant, while head of litigation Eric Grossman was elevated to the new position of general counsel for the Americas. Lynch, a former partner at Davis Polk Wardwell, eventually resigned in March 2011.

In January 2012, Grossman, another former Davis Polk partner, was named Morgan Stanley’s new general counsel, only a few months before the return of predecessor Francis “Frank” Barron to Cravath, Swaine Moore. Another lawyer, Yale Law School graduate Gregory Fleming, currently serves as the head of Morgan Stanley’s global wealth management and investment management divisions.

SC is advising Credit Suisse on its acquisition of Morgan Stanley’s EMEA wealth management arm, a deal that Reuters reports will help Switzerland’s second-largest bank offset its exposure to the oft volatile world of investment banking.

Urs Rohner, who served as Credit Suisse’s general counsel before being promoted to chairman in April 2011, worked briefly at SC in the late eighties and spent the following decade as a partner at leading Swiss firm Lenz Staehelin. (Neil Radey serves as managing director and general counsel for the Americas at Credit Suisse, while the Zurich–based bank’s global general counsel is Romeo Cerutti, who also sits on its advisory board.)

As it happens, SC had its hand in another wealth management deal announced this week, advising Genworth Financial on the $412.5 million sale of its wealth management unit to private equity firms Aquiline Capital and Genstar Capital.

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Friday, March 29th, 2013 EN

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