John Ellis, widely recognized as one of the pioneers of the managed accounts industry, passed away on April 24th at age 88. The team of Mr. Ellis, Jim Lockwood, Dick Schilffarth, and Tom Gorman, together conceived a fee-based consulting service for institutional clients in the early 1970s at Dean Witter. In 1973, they moved to EF Hutton which, with the encouragement and backing of Peter Muratore, embraced the idea of creating a fee-based consulting organization to serve both institutions and retail investors. From those roots grew the original EF Hutton Consulting Services Division and such ground-breaking programs as EF Hutton Suggests, Hutton Investment Management, Hutton Capital Management, EF Hutton Guided Portfolio Management, and EF Hutton Consults. Upon Mr. Lockwood’s retirement in 1987, Mr. Ellis assumed responsibility for the division, then known as the Consulting Group, and solidified its position as the industry leader and innovator during his tenure. Mr. Ellis retired in 1991, remaining active as a trustee and director of the Consulting Group Capital Markets Funds, the original TRAK funds. The Consulting Group of Morgan Stanley today remains the industry’s largest provider of managed solutions.
Mr. Ellis was one of the original supporters of the Money Management Institute and one of the earliest recipients of the MMI Advisory Solutions Pioneer award. Notably, ten additional Pioneer recipients have direct ties to the Consulting Group organization that Mr. Ellis helped to develop. He was a mentor and friend to many of our industry’s current leaders and leaves an indelible mark. Our condolences and best wishes go out to John’s family and many friends.