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Morgan Stanley's Ruth Porat Hoping To Not Go Down Path Of Those Other Lady CFOs

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In addition to the whole "help turn Morgan Stanley around" task, Ruth Porat, who was named CFO last January, has another entry on her to do list: don't get unceremoniously canned like your girlfriends. "Be careful in everything you do, because we all know how this ended before,” an analyst told her at a cocktail party earlier this year, the insinuation being that she ought to avoid getting fired from Lehman Brothers, forced to take a leave of absence from Credit Suisse, and ultimately spend her days taking spin classes and dating a firefighter in the Hamptons, like Erin Callan, or getting the bootskie from Vikram Pandit, like Sallie Krawcheck.

Porat may have gone from a client-facing banker job to a "technical" one where you have to, as Glen Schorr puts it, "know everything about everything," without ever working in a finance department but forget about "numbers" for a second. This lady doesn't have any quit in her, and has shown that crippling back pain or even labor contractions are mere speed bumps that will not in any way hamper her from doing what she has set out to do, unlike her male counterparts who would be crying for a heating pad at the first spasm or an epidural the second their water broke.

Colleagues say Ms. Porat is a tireless worker. In 1992, during the birth of her first son, she was on the phone in the delivery room making client calls. And in her spare time she, along with her husband, a lawyer, renovate and sell New York City apartments...[Mary] Meeker, the godmother to each of Ms. Porat’s three sons, remembers one meeting with management at the media company Ziff Davis where Ms. Porat threw her back out. “Instead of leaving she laid on the boardroom table and continued on with the presentation,” Ms. Meeker said.

Ruth Porat Avoids Wall Street Pitfalls For Women [Dealbook]



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