Morgan Stanley is streamlining its Global Wealth Management unit, reducing its four U.S. divisions (Northeast, South, Central, West) to two (South/West and Northeast/Central), according to an internal memo sent last week by Andy Saperstein, head of national sales.

Under the reorganization, Bill McMahon, who ran the Southern division, will run the South/West division, and Rick Skae, who ran the Northeast division, will run the Northeast/Central division. A spokesman for Morgan Stanley says the consolidation is not a cost-driven move for the firm, which has 8,341 advisors with total client assets of $734 billion. “District structure remains unchanged. Impact on individual FAs will be minimal,” says a Morgan Stanley spokesperson.

The memo also announced the appointment of Jerry Miller to the firm’s investment management division to head Van Kampen Investments, where Miller will lead a review of Morgan Stanley’s Investment Management retail strategy. Margaret Black, who ran the Western division, was appointed vice chairman of national sales. According to the memo, Black will focus on high-net-worth clients and business leadership diversity, and report to Saperstein. A firm spokesperson says Miller’s appointment streamlines the management structure at the division level while assigning a senior executive (Black) to areas of important business focus.

“Given the intensity of competition across our industry in the high-net-worth market segment, it is essential that we capitalize on the Morgan Stanley brand to differentiate ourselves from our competition,” Saperstein says in the memo.

This is the second reorganization the firm has seen since James Gorman took the helm of the GWM division in February 2006, when the firm shrank eight divisions into four. Gorman and CEO John Mack’s leadership have renewed the confidence of Morgan Stanley reps about the firm’s direction since the days of former CEO Philip Purcell's ouster.