Meet the ex-wirehouse exec
turning the Rockefeller
Family Office into a wealth
A boutique firm may seem an unlikely venture for Gregory Fleming to helm. After all, he spent virtually his whole career at two wirehouses — Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch — where hetopped out as president of wealth and asset management, andpresident, respectively.
But a smaller enterprise with an entrepreneurial mindsetis exactly what Fleming, 57, is now running. The investmentbanker — who helped Bank of America buy Merrill’s business and helped former Yankee Derek Jeter in the consortiumacquisition of the Miami Marlins — is relishing the job ofrecasting the Rockefeller family office into a wealth management firm, he told Investment Advisor in a phone interview.
Offering an array of products and services for high-net-worth and ultra-high net worth clients, Rockefeller CapitalManagement has the welcome mat out for elite advisorsnationwide. But Fleming is picky: Dovetailing with the firm’sculture is of paramount importance, he stresses.
In 2018, Fleming, who spent six years at Morgan Stanley and17 years at Merrill, formed Rockefeller Capital Management outof Rockefeller & Co., the former family office of the Rockefellerfamily, to help clients with complex financial and investing needs.
The firm, of which Fleming is CEO, is owned by a Viking
Global Investors private fund — Viking is the majority stake-
holder — a trust representing the Rockefeller family, and
Based at — no surprise — 45 Rockefeller Plaza in New YorkCity, RCM is made up of three units: the Rockefeller Global FamilyOffice, Rockefeller Asset Management and Strategic Advisory.
The firm was formed from the family office originated byJohn D. Rockefeller, founder of Standard Oil. The philanthropic Rockefellers funded Spelman College, the Universityof Chicago and the Museum of Modern Art, among many otherrenowned institutions.
As for the advisory firm, it is reportedly offering handsome
signing bonuses to top-notch FAs. All Fleming has to say about
that is: “We offer competitive packages, but we’re not trying
to win on the package. If the decision comes down to financial
consideration, advisors should go to other firms.”
In 2018, the first to onboard as an employee firm was The
Bapis Group — renamed Vios Advisors — a nine-person team
that left Hightower Advisors.
RCM’s second family office acquisition — following thatof Financial Clarity, based in Mountain View, California — isWhitnell & Co., a $1.4 billion wealth management and multi-fam-ily office services firm. It was a subsidiary of Associated Banc
BY JANE WOLLMAN RUSOFF