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Big-bank brokers make exit under cloak and dagger

Sara Botkin (right) left Morgan Stanley with her father and brother to start their own independent financial planning and investment firm. The Botkins went so far as to require non-disclosure agreements from contractors working on their new building.


SECRET contracts, covert real-estate deals, scurrying around after nightfall to avoid detection: this is how far big-bank brokers are prepared to go when they plan to go independent.

It's a risky enterprise. If the brokerage learns that someone intends to leave, it often...

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