As Chase Manhattan Corp. revamps its private banking operations in Florida, it will do so without the help of the man who headed the division for 10 years.
J. Bradford Greer left his post as president of Chase Manhattan Private Bank of Florida this month to start his own investment management firm catering to the affluent of South Florida.
For the past decade, Mr. Greer, 61, has overseen domestic private banking in Palm Beach and is credited with boosting Chase's domestic assets there to over $1 billion, up from $100 million a decade ago.
"At my age, I decided to do things the way I wanted to do them," Mr. Greer said in a phone interview from his Palm Beach home. "The reason for (starting a firm) is that I have a lot of contacts. I know all the professionals, all the lawyers, all the accountants."
Mr. Greer denied reports of disagreements with management about the direction Chase was taking with its private banking operations in Florida.
"Chase wants to pursue a global marketplace," he said. "'My strength is domestic. They have a different objective, and that's fine."
Mr. Greer said he hopes to open the capital management arm of his investment company in the next two months, with a trust operation to follow several months later. His goal, he said, is to garner individual assets of up to $5 million, with a minimum account of $500,000.
Mr. Greer said his new firm will have few employees and lack the bureaucratic layers of his former employer.
"There is something to be said for that, rather than going through a large organization with a lot of bureaucracy," he said. "And most big banks have that."
Mr. Greer left at a time when Chase is revamping its private banking functions in Florida as part of an overall effort to expand its international private banking operations.
The banking company is looking to boost its private banking earnings, on about $68 billion of assets under management, by 20% annually through 1997, executives have said.
In Florida alone, Chase has combined the domestic and international offices under one roof. Michael J. Holden, who has assumed Mr. Greer's title, has also been put in charge of the bank's Florida international private banking business, which is handled mostly out of the Miami office.
The Miami office serves clients from Central America and the Caribbean, said Mr. Holden, who declined to specify the assets serviced by that office.