Easing the stress of a move to Morgan Stanley

July 2, 2008, 12:25 AM UTC

You know that rule of life: Don’t change your job, your home, and your partner all in the same year.

Ellyn McColgan has changed two out of three, and she’s shockingly low-stress about it. “I’m moving tomorrow,” she told me last evening over a leisurely dinner in Manhattan. McColgan, who spent 17 years climbing the ranks of Fidelity Investments in Boston (and made Fortune’s Most Powerful Women list), joined Morgan Stanley as president of its $6.5 billion Global Wealth Management arm in April. Today, as she moves into her new apartment overlooking Central Park, “I won’t have to open a single box,” she says.

What’s the hitch? To smooth her move, McColgan says, she hired a service called Productive Transitions. Hokey name, yes. But it says what it does—which is to manage any move. McColgan had never heard of “moving managers” before she made her Boston-to-New York transition, but this service turned out to be a good find. California-based Productive Transitions not only oversaw McColgan’s movers. The moving managers also hung her art, organized her closets and placed her clothes in her drawers. Phone service and cable TV? Done.

Word to the wise: These moving managers charge high fees. McColgan says she spent about $25,000 out of pocket—her pocket, not Morgan Stanley’s. But it was worth the price for stress relief—particularly when going to work each day means battling it out on Wall Street.

P. S. Speaking of new homes, I bumped into Greg Schwartz, VP of sales for Zillow, at lunch outside Michael’s today. “Has the downturn hurt Zillow’s traffic?” I asked. The opposite, he said. Traffic on the home-price assessment website is up 40% in a year because people, instead of buying homes, are perusing instead.