Morgan Stanley has confirmed that it is holding a pitch and that it invited Leo Burnett, which runs the account from its Chicago office, to compete for the work.
However, Leo Burnett said in a statement: "In light of recent changes at Morgan Stanley, Leo Burnett has decided to resign as its advertising agency of record."
The specific changes that led to Publicis Groupe-owned Leo Burnett's resignation were not mentioned, but the agency had a long relationship with former CEO Philip Purcell. He left the company earlier this year, along with chief marketing officer Philip Raskin, with whom Leo Burnett also worked.
The agency handled the account on an international basis. In the UK, it is best known as a merchant bank, rather than for its consumer services. However, it ran an advertising campaign for its platinum credit card in May this year. The ads were created by Leo Burnett.
Morgan Stanley is the second global finance group to have its advertising account out to tender.
Credit Suisse is also running a pitch for its $100m account, and has shortlisted agencies including Lowe, McCann Erickson Germany, StrawberryFrog Amsterdam, Kirschenbaum Bond & Partners New York, along with incumbent Euro RSCG London.
If you have an opinion on this or any other issue raised on Brand Republic, join the debate in the Forum.