Abadi leaves Safra National Bank for Morgan Stanley: sources | Reuters

By Guillermo Parra-Bernal

SAO PAULO Mauricio Abadi resigned on Friday as an executive vice president of Safra National Bank of New York to join Morgan Stanley & Co, three people familiar with the situation said.

According to one of the people, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, Abadi had had some of his responsibilities cut back over the past year.

The other two said he often disagreed over strategy with Chief Executive Officer Simoni Morato.

Efforts to contact New York-based Abadi were unsuccessful.

A media relations company representing Safra National said the lender does not comment on personnel matters.

Abadi’s departure comes amid a flurry of high-level staff changes at private banking firms with strong links to wealthy Latin Americans as competition for clients and assets escalates.

Private banks offer transaction services and help wealthy families devise financial planning strategies.

Safra National is the U.S.-based private banking unit of billionaire Joseph Safra’s family. Forbes Magazine ranks the Brazilian-Lebanese banker as the world’s richest, with a fortune of about $19 billion.

Safra National had $16.4 billion of client assets at the end of 2016.

Abadi worked with Safra National for almost two decades, one of the people said. At some point, Brazil-born Abadi oversaw more than $3 billion of Safra National’s client money, the first person added.

It was unclear what Abadi’s responsibilities would be at Morgan Stanley, the people said.

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(Reporting by Guillermo Parra-Bernal; Editing by Leslie Adler)