Morgan Stanley bringing office to downtown Cedar Rapids

Move set for March 2013

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Morgan Stanley will move its growing Cedar Rapids office to the downtown area next year, adding a major name in finance to the downtown's post-flood recovery.

The move in March 2013 will bring about 15 Morgan Stanley employees to a new office building at 600 Third Ave. SE from a location the company has outgrown at 4015 Glass Road NE.

A majority of the Morgan Stanley branch staff were formerly affiliated with the branch offices of Merrill Lynch and RBC in downtown Cedar Rapids before the June 2008 flood forced those offices to relocate. RBC has since returned downtown to 221 Third Ave. SE, while Merrill Lynch is now at 1065 Sierra Court NE.

"We always felt we were flood refugees," said Jon Bancks, resident manager of the Morgan Stanley office. "Our intent was to move downtown."

The company looked at emerging post-flood development and traffic patterns before selecting a new building developed by Steve Emerson at 600 Third Ave. SE.

Emerson said Morgan Stanley will occupy about one-half of the first floor of the 45,000-square-foot, three-level building.

CliftonLarsonAllen, an accounting and consulting firm, has leased the third floor of the building and the second floor is leased to Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield.

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Bancks said the location's advantages included a central location convenient to clients and proximity to many of the new downtown developments, including PCI's new medical mall, the new public library and the new central fire station.

The visual statement made by the building was part of its appeal, Bancks said, and the company is confident that Emerson will be able to supply adequate parking.

CliftonLarsonAllen handles tax preparation for many of Morgan Stanley's clients, Bancks said, adding a level of convenience for customers who use both companies.

In Cedar Rapids, Morgan Stanley has grown in about twelve months from two financial advisers to eight financial advisers and seven support staff, Bancks said.

Tom Anderson, who leads The Anderson Group at Morgan Stanley, has been a longtime proponent of the Cedar Rapids Downtown District and active in the district's leadership, Bancks added.

Morgan Stanley opened in Cedar Rapids around the time of the 2008 flood. Each financial adviser runs his or her own practice, with Morgan Stanley, a large New York-based network of financial offices, providing back office support, technology and overhead.

Bancks said one thing that sets it apart from some independent financial service offices in the area is that a significant number of its clients are located out of state, and the office has advisers registered in multiple states. That enables them to travel during the cold weather seasons to call on clients with winter homes in warmer locales.

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