Ellyn McColgan is leaving her post as head of Morgan Stanley's global wealth management unit after less than a year on the job. The news comes in the wake of the announcement of Morgan Stanley's planned joint venture with Smith Barney.

In an internal memo, Morgan CEO John Mack and Co-President James Gorman told employees that McColgan intended to "pursue other opportunities" and would leave the firm at the end of the month. They praised McColgan for her "strong leadership... during one of the most tumultuous periods our industry has ever seen."

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