Bloomberg reports that Stokley Towles, a mainstay in the Boston office of Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. credited with creating the bank’s global custody business, which now accounts for more than 70% of the firm’s employees, has died. He was 77.
He died on February 14th at his home in Westwood, Massachusetts, according to a death notice published Wednesday in the New York Times. No cause was given.
Towles (pronounced 'tolls') joined the Boston office of New York-based Brown Brothers after graduating from Harvard Business School in 1960. He spent the rest of his life with the firm, becoming a general partner in 1978 and a limited partner in 2010. The firm is the oldest closely held financial institution in the U.S., with roots reaching back to the founding of Brown Brothers in 1818 in Philadelphia.
In 1969, with Brown Brothers experiencing a decline in its traditional business of extending credit to New England manufacturers and commodities firms, Towles proposed that the firm enter the field of global custody, according to a 2010 profile in Global Custodian magazine. Global custody refers to the settlement, safekeeping and reporting of assets traded across international borders and currencies.
She died on February 18th, according to a memo sent to Morgan Stanley employees from Colm Kelleher, head of the firm’s investment bank division, and Eric Heaton, president of Morgan Stanley Bank. Carroll died at New York Presbyterian Hospital of an autoimmune liver disease, according to Sandra Noonan, a spokeswoman for the bank.
Carroll was named a managing director at Morgan Stanley, owner of the world’s largest brokerage, in 2009. She helped run the firm’s Utah-based bank since 2004, a period when its assets increased to $80.5bn from $5.4bn, and was its chief operating officer.
'She brought exceptional judgment and a strong sense of humor to her work, and she was sought after by colleagues for her counsel and sage advice', Kelleher and Heaton said in the memo sent on February 20th. 'She will be greatly missed'.