James Gorman

  • jamesgormanmorganstanleytradingfloor-260x143

    News

    James Gorman Will Say Something Nice About Wall Street When Wall Street Earns It

    If you’re looking for a cheerleader, go bark up another tree.

    “Say you want to be out ahead of it and give a lot of speeches and talk about all the good we’re doing,” Gorman said today at an industry conference in New York. “And then some trader does some stupid thing like this guy at UBS did and he’s in jail and all bets are off,” Gorman said. He was referring to Kweku Adoboli, the UBS AG trader convicted of fraud this month in the largest unauthorized trading loss in British history…Traders at New York-based Morgan Stanley had too much latitude in the past, “what I call having an outsized sandbox,” Gorman, 54, said at the conference, which was sponsored by the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association. “Until we can be really confident we’ve got discipline around the sandboxes, I think you have to be really careful not to be holier than thou,” Gorman said. “We’re going to be in the doghouse for a while.”

    Incidentally, this would a good time to mention that Gorman’s bonus policy instituted last January– STFU or GTFO– still stands.

    / Nov 30, 2012 at 12:05 PM
  • Just hanging out here with some VaR

    Banks, News

    Morgan Stanley Now 23% Safer

    A value-at-risk model basically works like this. You have some stuff, which is worth X today. Tomorrow it will be worth X + Y, where Y ranges from more or less negative infinity to positive infinity. Y is a function of a bunch of correlated random variables, rates and credit and stock prices and general […]

    / Oct 18, 2012 at 1:15 PM
  • News

    Layoffs/Bonus Watch ’12/13: Morgan Stanley

    Back in January, Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman sent a simple messages to his employees, who had been grumbling about their pay: STFU or GTFO. “You’re naive, read the newspaper, No.1,” Gorman told Bloomberg he would say to any members of his staff that wanted to give him lip about their compensation to his face. “No. 2, if you put your compensation in a one-year context to define your over all level of happiness, you have a problem which is much bigger than this job. And No. 3, if you’re really unhappy, just leave.” Today, in an interview with the FT, Gorman reiterated his stance and added that in addition to reducing compensation for current employees, the bank will likely be drastically cutting pay for future analysts. If anyone has a problem with that, consider applying for a gig at Bank of Mythical Pre-Crisis Era Bonuses. Alternatively, Gorman is happy to discuss a compensation plan in which you’ll be awarded shares of his foot in your ass, which vest immediately.

    In the latest sign of the pressure Wall Street is under to cut costs and address high pay levels, James Gorman, chief executive, said that staff and remuneration would have to be sacrificed as banks cope with lower profits. “There’s way too much capacity and compensation is way too high,” Mr Gorman said in an interview with the Financial Times. “As a shareholder I’m sort of sympathetic to the shareholder view that the industry is still overpaid.”

    Morgan Stanley itself is already axing 4,000 jobs, 7 per cent of its workforce, by the end of this year. In the new year, Mr Gorman said, the bank will consider its next round of cost-cutting, including lower pay and bonuses. News of further pay cuts, including potentially for new entrants at the investment bank, comes just weeks after Goldman Sachs confirmed it was overhauling its well-known entry-level programme for analysts. Goldman was said to have tired of the number of analysts in the programme who left the bank for hedge funds. Mr Gorman said that Morgan Stanley will probably keep its own analyst programme, but pay could be reduced significantly.

    Morgan Stanley Chief Warns On Wall Street Pay [FT]
    Earlier: James Gorman To Employees: STFU Or GTFO

    / Oct 5, 2012 at 11:48 AM
  • what the?

    Banks, News

    Morgan Stanley Doesn’t Want To Share Custody Of Smith Barney Any More

    Buried in a footnote1 a while back I ruminated on the fact that, in the deal where Morgan Stanley bought a chunk of its Morgan Stanley Smith Barney brokerage JV from Citigroup, Morgan Stanley got a sort-of-free option to buy the rest of Smith Barney, and how that option is (1) valuable and (2) sort […]

    / Sep 21, 2012 at 5:25 PM
  • News

    Morgan Stanley ‘Rainmakers’ Might Quit Because Their Computers Don’t Work

    They’re not there yet, however; first, they’re going to send James Gorman a strongly worded letter and make a decision based on his response. They do sound pretty miffed though, so God help the guy if his answer is anything but “I’ve got my tool kit and I’m on the way over.”

    Several dozen Morgan Stanley Smith Barney advisers who manage tens of billions of dollars of client money are considering leaving the firm, saying that widespread technology problems have made it very difficult for them to do their jobs, according to people familiar with the matter. The group has hired a lawyer to argue that they should be able to keep lucrative retention payments even if they quit, and they have also drafted a letter to Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman outlining their concerns, though the letter has not yet been sent, the sources said.

    Rebecca Rothstein, one of the firm’s top advisers based in Beverly Hills, spoke to him on the group’s behalf, two sources familiar with the conversation said. Rothstein, who is close to Gorman and not part of the group, told him about the difficulties advisers and their clients are having – from trading delays and problems with foreign currency transactions to inaccurate account statements and bounced checks – and warned the group was planning to quit, one of the sources said…Morgan Stanley spokesman James Wiggins said the firm was aware that brokers have been voicing complaints about the new technology, but did not know anything about this specific group of advisers. “No such letter has been sent to management and no mass exodus has been threatened,” he said. “Management’s door is always open to discuss with any concerns they may have.”

    Morgan Stanley Smith Barney Rainmakers Consider Exit [Reuters]

    / Aug 31, 2012 at 3:33 PM
  • News

    Bloomberg: Not One Bank CEO Can Fill Jamie Dimon’s Shoes, Especially Not That Guy From Australia Who Doesn’t Own An Iron

    Earlier today, Bloomberg ran a lengthy piece about the latest crisis on Wall Street: a lack of Jamie Dimon. Specifically, a lack of Jamie Dimon telling meddlesome regulators, anti-industry populists, know-nothing Congressmen, and hypocrite bastard newspapers where they can go and what they can suck. True, it’s not as though he’s gone anywhere, and he’s still reminding people “it’s a free fucking country” but “juggling multiple investigations and a $5.8 billion trading loss on wrong-way bets on credit derivatives” has left his hands a little tied and, some believe, cost him his once untouchable “stature” in the industry.

    And while one should never simply offer problems without solutions, Bloomberg isn’t gonna sugarcoat this one: when it comes to “any kind of credible statesmen” to step in for JD, Wall Street is shit out of luck and not just because no one besides Lloyd came close in sales of their respective Bankers At Work And Play pin-up calendars. Among current CEO’s, Lloyd Blankfein, Brian Moynihan and Vikram Pandit are deemed too busy “fixing their own firms or repairing their reputations,” while Wells Fargo chief John Stumpf, though respected among his peers, is ruled out due to geography (“Part of Jamie’s fitting into that role was his natural brashness as a Wall Streeter and New Yorker, and that is not John”).

    But hey, what about that James Gorman guy? Runs Morgan Stanley, is based in New York, has been known to put a foot up an ass when necessary? Don’t even get Bloomberg started.

    James Gorman, 54…doesn’t fit the Wall Street titan stereotype. The Australian prefers a rumpled tuxedo he bought as a business school student in 1980 to Armani for black- tie events, and he stocks Vegemite in the executive kitchen.

    Or maybe perhaps all that makes him perfect for the gig? The way we see it, Jim Gorman doesn’t have the time or patience for fancy extras like unwrinkled suits and burgers made from foie gras-fed cows. All he cares about is not taking shit, or prisoners. Someone asks him, “What is this Vegemite stuff,” he knocks their two front teeth out. You suggest maybe he could have ironed his shirt before that gala, he takes out that iron and smashes you in the face with it. You want a worthy successor for the job, you’ve got him.

    Wall Street Leaderless In Rules Fight As Dimon Diminished [Bloomberg]

    / Aug 21, 2012 at 4:32 PM
  • News

    Layoffs Watch ’12: Morgan Stanley

    The House of Gorman will be saying good-bye to a few thousand Little Jims before year-end.

    Chairman and Chief Executive James Gorman said the firm’s work force at year-end will fall 7% from 2011, reflecting previously announced layoffs as well as the firm’s efforts in applying “a high bar for replacing attrition.” The forecast implies a reduction of more than 4,000 jobs from the firm’s global headcount of 61,899 at Dec. 31. Last winter, Morgan Stanley announced 1,600 job cuts spread across its businesses, which was its largest such cutback since late 2008 and early 2009. The firm completed roughly 4% to 5% of those cuts in January and will complete an additional 2% to 3% by the end of 2012, a spokeswoman said.

    Morgan Stanley Expects 7& Cut In Its Workforce [WSJ]

    / Jul 19, 2012 at 12:59 PM
  • News

    Layoffs Watch ’12: Morgan Stanley

    The House of Gorman is said to be in the process of letting some employees down easy.

    Morgan Stanley will this week complete a round of job cuts that will ultimately lead to the company shedding 100 sales and trading staff, underscoring what is expected to prove a dismal second quarter for Wall Street banks. The cuts are across Europe, the Middle East and Asia, according to people familiar with the New York-based bank’s plans. The bank has so far laid off about two-thirds of its original 100-person target, leaving some 33 people to go this week.

    Morgan Stanle Said To Shed Staff As Deals Fall [FT]

    / Jul 10, 2012 at 12:16 PM
  • News

    Layoffs Watch ’12? Morgan Stanley?

    James Gorman is approaching cost-cutting with the same focus as the Zodiac killer, so maybe.

    Morgan Stanley is “maniacally focused” on cutting costs apart from compensation and is on track to reduce expenses by $500 million this year, Chief Executive James Gorman said on Tuesday. Gorman, speaking at a conference in New York, also reiterated Morgan Stanley’s plans to reduce costs by $1.4 billion annually over the long term…The bank is also monitoring the size of its overall payroll for possible job cuts as revenue remains under pressure from a weak market environment, he said. “We are very, very focused on that, obviously, in this environment,” said Gorman.

    Morgan Stanley “maniacally” focused on cost cuts-CEO [Reuters]
    Very much related: Morgan Stanley Joins Goldman Sachs In Herbicide

    / Jun 12, 2012 at 2:23 PM
  • News

    Confidential To The Haters: Check Back In With James Gorman About Facebook In A Year

    Until then, step off, bitch.

    Morgan Stanley Chairman and Chief Executive James Gorman defended the securities firm’s role in Facebook’s tumultuous initial public offering, telling employees internally that the firm worked “100% within the rules” and calling the steep decline in Facebook’s stock “disappointing.” Mr. Gorman, in a weekly strategy meeting Tuesday that was later webcast to employees, said “speculation of nefarious activity” surrounding the social networking company’s IPO is untrue. Contrary to some reports, he said, he wasn’t “aware of any dissent” among the underwriting firms regarding Facebook’s IPO price of $38 a share. The discussion, called a strategy forum, is held weekly at the firm. The event, which Mr. Gorman attends periodically, features commentary from analysts and economists and is linked to on the company’s internal website.

    Mr. Gorman told employees to “be proud of the job your colleagues did [in the Facebook IPO process] and don’t judge us based upon what happened over a couple of days.” Commenting on Facebook’s stock performance, Mr. Gorman acknowledged the first day of trading “matters” but added investors should also judge an IPO based on its share price after 30 days, 90 days and 12 months.

    Morgan Stanley Chief Defends Facebook Handling [WSJ]

    / May 30, 2012 at 6:20 PM
  • News

    Wall Street Bank That Might Consider Entering The Witness Protection Program Screws Zoe Cruz Out Of A Job For The Second Time

    [caption id="attachment_76125" align="alignleft" width="260" caption="How people smile when they're plotting cutting your brake lines."][/caption]

    Earlier this week, it was announced that Zoe Cruz would be closing her hedge fund, Voras Capital Management. Cruz started the fund in 2010, a few years after she was famously fired by John Mack at Morgan Stanley (where she was co-President), for reasons that remain unclear to this day but include theories like: a) the belief that she was responsible for losing the firm a few billion dollars b) a lot of people disliked her– including this guy named Vikram Pandi who was “not a fan“– and told Mack they would leave if he made Cruz CEO c) Mack had to blame either himself or Cruz for some losses and he chose her. d) She was, you know, a girl, and the boys didn’t like that. Regardless, the ousting was probably mildly to majorly humiliating for ZC and since Mack– who she was extremely close with prior to the personnel change– was the one who told her to hit the bricks, it would have been fair to assume she spent a least a little time fantasizing about  sticking pins in a Mack voodoo doll and/or slashing his tires.

    In 2009, though, Mack and Zoe had lunch and she told him she wanted to start a hedge fund. And maybe it was it was the fact that he was feeling nostalgic, maybe it was the fact that tragedy + time = comedy, maybe it was the fact that he was still riding high from “saving” Morgan Stanley, maybe it was the wine, maybe it was that he was feeling bad about the unceremonious canning and thought “Oh, why not just give the poor girl some money” but Mack went back to the office and “told bank executives that he would like to help her start her new investment business, according to people familiar with the matter.” And when they said, “But John, didn’t you fire her for supposedly taking on too much risk and losing the firm $4 billion,” he said “[Well], her track record was a very good track record.” So Morgan Stanley gave Cruz $20 million and she was on her way. And while we can’t say for sure, and we’re not suggesting money necessarily heals all wounds, the $20 million and the stamp of approval and the fact that she could say to investors she was trying to raise money from ,”Hey look, even the guy who fired me wants in” probably helped smooth things over and improve MS’s standing in the Cruz-missile’s eyes. She likely even had nice things to say about her former employer at social gatherings! And then this happened:

    Last month, Morgan Stanley asked for its money back, disappointed by the hedge fund’s performance and worried about the shrinking size of Ms. Cruz’s firm, according to people familiar with the matter…The retreat by Morgan Stanley was part of broader moves to sell off assets that Chief Executive James Gorman felt exposed the company to unnecessary risk or otherwise didn’t serve clients, the people said…On Thursday, the 57-year-old Ms. Cruz told clients in a letter that she has decided to close down Voras Capital Management. The letter cited “the difficult capital-raising environment for new funds and the enormous uncertainty and volatility in the markets,” according to a person who saw the letter. It was signed by Ms. Cruz.

    Oooo, that’s not good. In fact, it’s worse than if they’d never given her the $20 mill at all. But to give and take back? Yikes. All those nice things Cruz said about MS and Co? Strike them from the record because they are so over! Don’t call, don’t write, don’t cry don’t beg ’cause you’re done! Finished!

    Morgan Stanely Bailed On Firm [WSJ]

    / May 11, 2012 at 12:52 PM
  • News

    Charlie Gasparino Reminds James Gorman He Is Public Enemy Number One On Wall Street, Will Break Your Knee Caps To Make A Point

    Gasparino: Let’s get something straight right off that bat– 6 months ago, someone at your firm wanted to kill me…you don’t want to kill me, correct?
    Gorman: Charlie…I don’t wan to kill you…I don’t think they did either.
    Gasparino: I don’t blame them if they did..given my reputation with PR people. So thank you for coming here, checking your guns at the door.

    Charlie Gasparino with Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman [FBN]

    / Apr 19, 2012 at 2:18 PM
  • News

    One More Peep Out Of Morgan Stanley Employees And Next Year’s Bonuses Will Be Determined By IQ Test (Results Posted In Lobby)

    Gorman doesn’t fit the image of a Wall Street titan. Notwithstanding his $10.5 million pay package, he shows up at black-tie events in a rumpled tuxedo he bought as a business- school student in the 1980s. He keeps supplies of Vegemite — a favorite Australian food that’s made from yeast extract — in the executive […]

    / Feb 6, 2012 at 11:49 AM
  • News

    Brian Moynihan Has Already Spent A Year Apologizing To Shareholders, Please Don’t Make Him Handle Another Confrontation

    Earlier this week, in an interview with Bloomberg TV, Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman was asked how he would respond to employees expressing disappointment with this year’s bonuses. Perhaps at his wits end with compensation complaining, perhaps to indicate there is a new James Gorman in town and he is not to be fucked with, […]

    / Jan 27, 2012 at 3:28 PM
  • News

    James Gorman To Morgan Stanley Employees: STFU Or GTFO

    As you may have heard, bonuses were announced at Morgan Stanley last week and while some employees here and there did okay for themselves, for the most part, people were not pleased with the fact that pay was down, on average by 20-30 percent. In fact, many were downright distraught, particularly among those who received […]

    / Jan 25, 2012 at 1:27 PM
  • News

    Morgan Stanley Names 210 Managing Directors

    Which apparently represents a 9.5% drop from last year and “the lowest number of employees it promoted to that role since 2008,” lest anyone think Jim Gorman is fucking around. The era of cannolis and promotion free-for-alls is over. [WSJ, full list]

    / Jan 24, 2012 at 12:52 PM
  • News

    James Gorman: This Isn’t The End. No Way. We’re Gonna Show This Market A Thing Or Two.

    “The stock price in no way reflects how well the firm is doing,” Gorman said last night at a private party for current and former Morgan Stanley executives. “We have a strategy in place, the market isn’t appreciating that yet.” [FBN]

    / Nov 30, 2011 at 4:33 PM
  • News

    Layoffs Watch ’11: Morgan Stanley

    Cuts occurring circa now, tomorrow.

    / Nov 16, 2011 at 12:47 PM

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