Making big decisions, and re-making a top Wall Street firm.
BloombergMarkets reports that Morgan Stanley had plenty of doubters, and CEO James Gorman has won them over. When then-CEO John Mack hired Gorman in 2006 to run wealth management, Morgan Stanley was still reeling from a vicious internal struggle that ousted CEO Philip Purcell.
It seemed impossible that Morgan Stanley would ever let another former McKinsey & Co. consultant lead the firm. But the financial crisis changed everything. Saved in part by an infusion from Japan’s Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. (MUFG), Morgan Stanley pivoted toward Gorman’s wealth-management business with the acquisition of Citigroup Inc.’s Smith Barney, and he became CEO in 2010.
After building a deposit base and staving off a potentially fatal credit downgrade, Morgan Stanley reengineered its fixed-income business and even beat longtime archrival Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in debt trading in the first half of 2017. Its stock has more than quadrupled from a 2012 low.
The Australian-born Gorman, 59, now sees a possible scenario of global economic growth, lower taxes, higher interest rates, and easier regulations ahead. And he’s beaten the consultant label. “The reality is I’ve been on Wall Street now for 18 years, and I was a consultant for 12,” he says. “I’m also a lawyer.”
Bloomberg's ERIK SCHATZKER: You’ve been CEO of Morgan Stanley for eight years, chairman for six. Give yourself a grade.
JAMES GORMAN: Oh, God. Um, I think..........
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Morgan Stanley’s CEO Gives Himself an A-Minus