Morgan Stanley CEO Steps Down

Morgan Stanley CEO Steps Down
James Gorman, chairman and CEO of Morgan Stanley, looks on during the Global Financial Leaders' Investment Summit, in Hong Kong, on Nov. 7, 2023. (Tyrone Siu/Reuters)

Morgan Stanley’s CEO, James Gorman, announced he is stepping down during an annual shareholders meeting on Thursday.

Mr. Gorman said he will leave the position on Dec. 31, giving his place to Ted Pick after a “successful transition” period. In a move unusual for Wall Street, the two other candidates for the top position will remain in the company. The two are executives Andy Saperstein and Dan Simkowitz.

The bank’s stock fell nearly 1 percent in morning trading Thursday.

Morgan Stanley shareholders approved all the board’s proposals during the annual meeting, regarding elections of directors and executives’ pay. At the same time, all shareholder proposals were rejected.

Influential proxy adviser Glass Lewis had urged shareholders to vote against the bank’s proposal for executive pay.

Mr. Gorman was awarded $37 million by the company’s board, while Mr. Pick and the two other CEO candidates were given $20 million one-time awards.

With the meeting running just below 30 minutes, Mr. Gorman said this was a sign of the new management’s “stellar start,” as there had never been such a short meeting in the last 15 years.

Mr. Gorman has transformed Morgan Stanley into a powerful wealth management company with a net worth of $160 billion as of May 2024.

Mr. Gorman was formerly the director of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and president of the Federal Advisory Council to the U.S. Federal Reserve Board.

Among his civic activities, he serves as a director of the Council on Foreign Relations. The group is an American membership organization and think tank, according to its website. Mr. Gorman is also a member of various other business organizations.

Morgan Stanley operates as a global financial services actor and has 80,000 employees worldwide. It provides investment banking products to governments, financial institutions, and individuals.

Its wealth management segment deals with investments in equities, futures, foreign currency, and precious metals, among many others. It was founded by J.P. Morgan’s grandson Henry S. Morgan and Harold Stanley in 1935, and it is headquartered in New York.

Morgan Stanley reported net revenue of $15.1 billion for the first quarter that ended in March 2024, compared with $14.5 billion a year ago.

Its profit beat estimates, fueled by a resurgence in investment banking and growth in wealth management.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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