Ex-Morgan Stanley president to head Smith Barney Shearson

June 25, 1993|By New York Times News Service

The Primerica Corp., bidding to add investment-banking firepower to the vast brokerage forces being mustered at Smith Barney Shearson, hired Robert F. Greenhill, the former president of Morgan Stanley, as the unit's chairman and chief executive yesterday.

Mr. Greenhill plans to scour Wall Street for more deal-makers and to try to lure clients, including General Motors and IBM, away from Morgan Stanley.

Primerica's $1 billion purchase of the Shearson brokerage from American Express, to be completed by the end of next month, would give its new Smith Barney Shearson unit the second-largest broker count in the nation, just behind Merrill Lynch. But in investment banking, Smith Barney lags far behind Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley.

Sanford I. Weill, the chief executive of Primerica, displayed Mr. Greenhill like a trophy at a news conference in New York and said he was counting on him to generate new stock and bond issues for his brokers to sell.

"We're going to build one of the real great financial services companies in America, a great investment banking and brokerage company," Mr. Weill said. "It's very hard to be terrific in one part without being terrific in the other part."

Although Mr. Greenhill has no experience in selling investments to individuals, his hiring was applauded by investors and analysts yesterday. The company's stock gained $3.50, to $49.25, while Morgan Stanley shares fell 87.5 cents, to $65.875.

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