Chief Operating Officer
Prior to joining Summit Trail Advisors as Chief Operating Officer, Thomas Harms worked at Fidelity starting in 2011 to help develop Institutional Wealth Services’ unique offering for large, complex advisors. (Advanced Wealth Ventures). At the same time, given his expertise in risk and compliance issues, he assumed responsibility for Fidelity’s risk and compliance consulting effort, developing and promoting guidance and thought leadership on top risks in the Advisor community.
In 1986, Mr. Harms joined Morgan Stanley in their Private Wealth Group as Branch Operations Manager for the flagship New York office. In 1990, he transferred to the Division’s Tokyo Branch where he assumed full Branch Management responsibilities. While in Japan, Mr. Harms concentrated on risk management and lending practices within the fledgling international group.
In 1991, he transitioned to the Division’s Hong Kong office where he spent the next 3 years in helping build the Private Wealth infrastructure in South East Asia. Responsibilities included staffing, real estate, integration issues and legal regulatory compliance. After successfully overseeing the build out in Asia, Mr. Harms moved again to London where the supervisory infrastructure of the Private Wealth organization was reviewed and revamped.
He remained in London until late 1996 when he returned to Hong Kong with responsibilities for the growing Asian business in China and Singapore. He returned to the United States in 1997 as Head of PWM Branch Administration, where he spent considerable time addressing issues of policy & procedure within the Private Wealth segment of the Firm. After the merger, Mr. Harms worked with a joint team to address structural issues between Private Wealth and newly merged Retail Division.
In 2000, Mr. Harms returned to London where he co-led the program to develop a “Pan-European” retail platform for the Division. By 2002, he was responsible for all Operational aspects of the combined Retail Division outside of the United States. He assumed global responsibility for Private Wealth Operations and Administration in 2003. Again, his primary focus was on Operational Risk management in the Division.
In late 2004, Mr. Harms assumed the role of Global Operational Risk Officer and Head of US Wealth Management Risk. In this role, Mr. Harms was responsible for insuring that MSSB’s diverse businesses were adhering to best Risk Management practices as defined by Basel and the Firm’s Core Team. Under his aegis, Morgan Stanley’s controls and compliance improved dramatically; leading to improved performance of the Wealth Management unit.