Of the five or six problems that sat atop the desk of Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman a year ago, only one remains: making sure the bank's bond trading business shrinks to profitability rather than obscurity.
Reuters reports that at Morgan Stanley's annual meeting on Tuesday, Gorman identified fixed-income, currency and commodities trading as the one place where he still has to prove himself to investors, after shepherding his bank through a crisis of confidence last year related to a ratings downgrade.
Since then, Morgan Stanley's share price has nearly doubled and its credit spreads have recovered to 2007 levels, Gorman said.
But while investors have confidence in his plans for the increasingly profitable wealth management business, doubts remain about bond trading, where Morgan Stanley lags rivals and did not meet expectations last quarter.
'There will be a group out there that will always ask, why aren't you as big as the big banks ? That's always going to be a question', Gorman said after the shareholder meeting on Morgan Stanley's sprawling suburban campus in Purchase, N.Y.
He compared Morgan Stanley to a boutique retailer that isn't as big as a department store, but is still highly profitable: 'We're a different kind of firm', he said. 'Not everybody's going to be the same'.
Hit the link below to access the complete Reuters article: