Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management

The Joseph Karas Advisory Team

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The Joseph Karas Advisory Team

A boutique group within a global firm, we serve an elite clientele of affluent families and individuals, and nonprofit organizations.



We are a highly experienced wealth management group that serves two distinct sets of clients under two banners. The Karas Team is designed to help ultra high net worth families and individuals address the complex challenges of managing significant wealth.  Foundation & Endowment Services is  structured to provide highly customized investment solutions to nonprofit organizations, as well as to simplify the tasks of complying with their fiduciary and regulatory responsibilities.

We believe that our two complementary businesses inform each other and enable us to provide fresh insight and a refined level of service to all of our clients. We invite you to click on the tabs above that best corresponds with your needs.


  • Consolidated Reporting
  • Comprehensive Wealth Planning
  • Investment Management
  • Manager Selection
  • Sustainable & Responsible Investing
  • Risk Management
  • Hedging Strategies
  • Philanthropy Management

Check the background of our Firm and Investment Professionals on FINRA's BrokerCheck.

About PWM

About PWM

Founded in 1977, Private Wealth Management is the division of Morgan Stanley Wealth Management that is dedicated to serving the firm’s most affluent clients, including some of the world’s most accomplished entrepreneurs, executives and stewards of multigenerational wealth.  Functioning as an exclusive investment boutique within a global financial firm, we deliver sophisticated solutions that leverage the intellectual capital and insight of Morgan Stanley’s substantial global resources. Drawing on a deep understanding of your financial life, our goal is to help you:

  • Manage investments with an unwavering focus on your financial strategy and personal goals
  • Create comprehensive, multigenerational wealth management plans based on your needs, challenges and the values that guide your life and legacy
  • Simplify financial complexity to help you achieve clarity and control 

Private Wealth Management Highlights
  • Approximately 250 teams1 specialized in assisting individuals and families with $20MM+ in investable assets
  • Over $300 billion in AUM2
  • Comprising over 20% of the Barron’s Top 100 Financial Advisors list for 20163
  • Direct access to ultra high net worth experts in philanthropy, family dynamics, wealth transfer, lifestyle advisory and other areas of interest to ultra high net worth families

1 Morgan Stanley Internal Compensable Revenue Report, July 21, 2016
2 Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, December 31, 2016
3 Barron’s Top 100 Financial Advisors, April 16, 2016



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Discovery Process
Investing the time to learn about you and your family; your assets and liabilities and the risk exposures, enables us to formulate strategies and customize the relationship to your needs.

Formulation of Tax, Trust and Estate Strategy
Working with your tax and legal advisors, we help analyze your income and estate tax circumstances to identify and tailor planning techniques that may be used to address your objectives.

Creation of Customized Strategic Asset Allocation
Your customized asset allocation reflects risk, opportunities and taxation across multiple entities, while integrating your investing and estate plans.

Integration of Tactical Asset Allocation
Short-term adjustments seek to capitalize on temporary market distortions. Before making adjustments, we analyze the impact of taxes and trading costs on potential returns.

Implementation of a Customized Wealth Strategy
After comprehensive due diligence and analysis of expected results across multiple market scenarios, strategies are chosen from our expansive investment platform.

Ongoing Assessment
In coordination with your other advisors, we can conduct ongoing reviews and comprehensive reporting to ensure that your strategy adapts to changing financial and family needs.

Family Wealth

The Karas Team is a deeply experienced group of wealth planning, investment and client service professionals who serve an elite global clientele of ultra high net worth families and individuals. Combining our talents and perspectives with the vast global resources of Morgan Stanley, we work to create and implement highly customized, comprehensive wealth management plans to help our clients maintain their lifestyles as they protect, grow and efficiently transfer wealth.

We follow a disciplined approach to wealth planning that is grounded in investment strategy, and integrates virtually every aspect of your financial life: risk management, liabilities, trusts and estate structures, family dynamics and philanthropic strategy. While we tailor our investment approach to each client's unique goals and risk tolerance, we generally favor portfolios with modest turnover to maximize tax efficiency.

Foundations & Endowments

Led by Joe Karas and Stephanie Whittier,  Foundation & Endowment Services is a dedicated team within Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management that is fully devoted to the needs of nonprofit organizations. Our team provides objective advice on asset allocation, manager search and selection, and consolidated reporting.

We follow a highly disciplined and carefully proscribed process to identify and define your needs and goals. We assist in the formation of a precise Investment Policy Statement and create a highly customized investment strategy in accordance with those guidelines. With a full open architecture platform, we have no limitations on the investments we can offer, whether actively or passively managed, proprietary or third party. Our consolidated reporting platform is equally flexible and robust, enabling us to delivery highly customized reports based on  your precise needs.

Our goal is to provide seamless integration and delivery of comprehensive asset management services to ease your administrative and regulatory burdens, and to help your organization reach its goals. Our only concern, at every stage of the process, is what is most appropriate for your plan.



  • 1585 Broadway, 21st Fl
  • New York, NY 10036

    Meet the Professionals

    Managing Significant Wealth

    • Investment Management
    • Wealth Transfer & Philanthropy
    • Cash Management & Lending
    • Family Governance & Legacy
    • Signature Access
    • Business Services

    Insights and Outcomes

    Thought Leadership for our ultra high net worth clients, which contains thought-provoking articles, authored by leading experts from Morgan Stanley Family Office Resources.

    We look forward to discussing your needs and goals, and the exceptional resources we can place at your disposal.

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    The securities/instruments, investments and investment strategies discussed on this website may not be suitable for all investors. The appropriateness of a particular investment or investment strategy will depend on an investor's individual circumstances and objectives. The views and opinions expressed on this website may not necessarily reflect those of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC (“Morgan Stanley”). This website and its associated content are intended for U.S. residents only.

    Morgan Stanley and its Private Wealth Advisors do not provide tax or legal advice.  Visitors to this website should consult their tax advisor for matters involving taxation and tax planning and their attorney for matters involving trust and estate planning and other legal matters.

    Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Advisers may only transact business in states where they are registered or excluded or exempted from registration.  Transacting business, follow-up and individualized responses involving either effecting or attempting to effect transactions in securities, or the rendering of personalized investment advice for compensation, will not be made to persons in states where Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Advisers are not registered or excluded or exempt from registration.

    See the Financial Advisors Biographies for Registration and Licensing information.

    Certified Financial Planner™ Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and CFP® (with flame logo)® in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP® Board's initial and ongoing certification requirements.

    Investment Management Consultants Association, Inc. owns the marks CIMA®, Certified Investment Management Analyst (with graph element)®, and Certified Investment Management Analyst .

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    Investment, insurance and annuity products offered through Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC are: NOT FDIC INSURED | MAY LOSE VALUE | NOT BANK GUARANTEED | NOT A BANK DEPOSIT | NOT INSURED BY ANY FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AGENCY

    Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC offers insurance products in conjunction with its licensed insurance agency affiliates.

    Life insurance, disability income insurance, and long-term care insurance are offered through Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC's licensed insurance agency affiliates.

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