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Even John Mack Is Slightly Nervous

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Given recent events (and the testy guilt of their staff), this story is more befitting of musically-inclined UBS but, alas, the Godfather of Soul never trusted the Swiss with his money. And this is quite an insult considering he did trust would be murders of "adult entertainment" providers (more on that later). The guardians of James Brown’s estate are suing Morgan Stanley for allegedly allowing the estate’s former manager, David Cannon, to withdraw millions of dollars held in an account set up to produce $1.1 million a year for Brown’s “personal use.” Trustees Adele J. Pope and Robert L. Buchanan Jr. claim that beginning in 2000, Cannon transferred $4.2 million to himself, before draining the $10 million account entirely by 2002. Morgan Stanley said today that Cannon had been authorized to manage the fund as he saw fit, and is contesting the suit. We’re sure Morgan Stanley has retained the best counsel money can buy but considering the fun fact that the latest iteration of Brown’s will was drawn up in 2000 by H. Dewain Herring, a Columbia, S.C., lawyer who is serving 30 years in prison* for murdering a strip club employee in 2006, they should be prepared for a fight.
Stewards of James Brown Estate Sue Morgan Stanley [NYT]
*Specifically one where security is lax


John Mack Takes Another Job That Doesn't Involve Selling Shoes At Bergdorf Goodman

Earlier today, KKR announced that former Morgan Stanley Chairman and CEO John Mack will be joining the private equity firm as a senior adviser, "supporting new investing activities and providing counsel to KKR portfolio companies." Including the new gig, Mack is now working three jobs, the others being "part-time adviser" to Morgan Stanley and author (as previously noted, he's working on a book). And while it's nice to see him keeping busy, you know what these little diversions don't leave a lot of time for? Going after his dream. As you may recall, back in December Mack told a room full of Morgan Stanley employees that if he hadn't become a banker, he would have been a women's shoe salesman and that in the years since he chose one path over another, the former has never come close to replacing the latter when it comes to things that light a fire inside him. Even when he was CEO of Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley, Mack found time to stop by Bergdorf Goodman and "watch the fierce New York ladies trying on Manolo Blahniks," often advising them on what to purchase, based on which pairs spoke to him and which did not ("Those-- those are the ones. Get them," he would say with undeniably certainty). Which was why, Mack said with a glimmer in his eye, his retirement would include being a "part-time salesman at Berdorf's." And, yet, here we are, more than three months later, and no such job has been procured. What's more, a spokeswoman for the department store has said that despite possessing an undeniable love and appreciation for shoes and being a born salesman, in order to work the floor, Mack would have to go through the same training program, just like everyone else, and he hasn't even filled out the application to do so. Why the hold up? It seems pretty obvious that when it comes to the thing that makes him feel alive someone is scared. Not scared to fail-- hell, he knows he can move that product. But scared the reality won't live up to the dream. Scared that years from now, selling shoes will just be a slog like everything else. So he takes these bull shit little advisory jobs so he can say he "just doesn't have the time" when the topic comes up, knowing full well that he goes to sleep at night and wakes up in the morning thinking about women's shoes and that nothing, and we mean nothing, will ever compare to feeling he'll get running back and forth to the stock room juggling six different styles in 3 different sizes, working his ass off to make that sale. The sooner he realizes that, the better. He obviously told the MS people about his little-known passion/plan for reason: to make himself accountable. If you see Mack today or next week or the week after, [tell him to go for it.] John Mack To Join KKR As Senior Adviser [Deal Journal]