Former Morgan Stanley Smith Barney financial adviser Alan Harter has launched a new firm, Pactolus Private Wealth Management, targeting families and people with at least $25 million to invest.

Pactolus has its headquarters in McLean, Virginia, and offices in New York. A spokeswoman said Harter specialized in working with family offices, but she declined to disclose his assets under management or annual revenue.

Harter, leading a team of five advisers, left Morgan Stanley Smith Barney on January 28. He had done business as the Harter Wealth Advisory Group in Alexandria, Virginia, according to a page from Morgan Stanley Smith Barney's website.

Morgan Stanley confirmed Harter's departure.

According to his FINRA BrokerCheck files, Harter began his career at Merrill Lynch in 1991 before moving on to PaineWebber in 1995.

After seven years at PaineWebber and UBS AG , he spent two years at Wachovia Securities and three years at Citigroup's Citi Family Office.

Morgan Stanley acquired control of Citi's Smith Barney in 2009.

The Pactolus was a small river in ancient Lydia, what is now Turkey, famed for the gold that washed from its sands. According to the ancient Greeks, King Midas washed away his power to convert anything he touched into gold in this river.

(Reporting by Joseph A. Giannone; editing by Andre Grenon, Bernard Orr)