More than a Number
Morgan Stanley Financial Advisor Rick Santella aims to serve as a trusted advisor to clients who are looking to get to “the next level.”
by Debra Wallace

 Rick Santella, Senior Vice President and Financial Advisor in Morgan Stanley’s Philadelphia office, has devoted his career to helping others. His 38 years of experience, extensive training and broad knowledge enable him to map out financial planning and wealth-planning strategies that are easy to understand, highly accessible and extremely effective.

“I have been doing this for a very long time, and throughout my career I have always made it a priority to help my clients,” he explains. “There is no formula or model with financial planning; everything that we do is highly individualized.”

A native of Philadelphia, Santella attended LaSalle College, where he initially majored in criminal justice. His first job in operations at an investment firm, and later as an operations manager, led him to seek the appropriate broker’s licenses. From the start he enjoyed sitting down and talking with—and, more importantly, listening to—his clients.

The more involved he became, the more success he had in the field. When he joined Morgan Stanley in 2011, he wholly embraced the idea of “not just helping clients to grow their wealth but also being there to help the client every single step of the way.”

He acknowledges that wealth planning seems like it’s “all about the numbers,” but he sees the profession as more about the people he gets to help.

“It hits home that what I am doing is making a major positive impact on a client’s life,” he says. “This always makes me want to do more and more to help. Before we discuss any products, I tell my clients that it is imperative that I am completely clear about their expectations of me and the financial plan that we are putting together.

“People need to hear what’s really going on, as opposed to the hype on television that they are bombarded with 24-7,” he continues. “Some financial advisors never call you when the markets are bad. But I don’t operate that way, which is why I have a number of clients who have been with me more than 20 years.”
His shares one piece of advice with all of his clients, from blue-collar workers to multimillionaire executives: “Financial management is a marathon and not a race, and that what is happening now is not necessarily what’s going to happen five years from now.”

Santella says every client’s wealth-planning portfolio is different and personalized, whether a client is aggressive or conservative in their investing goals.

As a member of the Morgan Stanley family, Santella can offer investments, wealth management, portfolio management, retirement planning, bonds, investment strategies, cash management and lending solutions. Also, disability income insurance and long-term care insurance are offered through Morgan Stanley’s licensed insurance agency affiliates.

A devoted family man with three stepchildren and five dogs, Santella shares his passion for animals with his wife, Maria, who owns a full-service pet salon in Haddon Township, N.J. Previously, the couple has enjoyed being involved in local pet-therapy groups.

At the end of the day, Santella has his own ideas about the notion of legacy. For his part, he wants to serve as a source of vital life lessons, whether he’s teaching his own children the ways of the world or advising clients how to prepare for a stress-free retirement.

“I would like to be known as a trusted advisor,” he says. “I am striving to help take them to the next level, whatever that might be for them, and to help them each and every step of the way.”

Rick Santella
Morgan Stanley

1650 Market Street, 42nd Floor
Philadelphia, Pa.
(215) 854-6018
(800) 233-1414

The investments and services listed may not be suitable for all investors. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC recommends that investors independently evaluate particular investments, and encourages investors to seek the advice of a financial advisor. The appropriateness of a particular investment will depend upon an investor's individual circumstances and objectives.

Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC is a registered Broker/Dealer, Member SIPC, and not a bank.  Where appropriate, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC has entered into arrangements with banks and other third parties to assist in offering certain banking related products and services.

Investment, insurance and annuity products offered through Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC are: NOT FDIC INSURED | MAY LOSE VALUE | NOT BANK GUARANTEED | NOT A BANK DEPOSIT | NOT INSURED BY ANY FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AGENCY

Rick Santella is a Financial Advisor in Morgan Stanley’s Philadelphia office. Although Mr. Santella has compensated Suburban Life/Philadelphia Life to have this advertisement featured in its publications, this is not a solicitation nor intended to provide individually tailored investment advice. The strategies and/or investments referenced may not be suitable for all investors. You should consult their tax advisor for matters involving taxation and tax planning and their attorney for matters involving trust and estate planning and other legal matters.

The views expressed herein are those of the author and may not necessarily reflect the views of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC. Member SIPC.  

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Photography by Jody Robinson