Like the elderly couple that has money in the bank but nevertheless scrimps and saves every last scrap of food because they lived through the depression, flashbacks to John Thain skipping board meetings to powwow with decorators to select the finest drapes and trashcans money could buy keeps Greg Fleming in check.
For some executives, corporate perks are getting just a little less exciting. A number of major U.S. companies are cutting back on glamorous luxuries like personal jet use, country-club memberships, and luxury rentals, recent corporate filings show. Often the shifts follow pressure from shareholders, who in recent years have criticized soaring executive pay and over-the-top perks...Morgan Stanley executive, wealth-management head Gregory Fleming, has received no perks since 2011, a recent filing shows. Fleming worked at Merrill Lynch until 2009, around the time then Merrill CEO John Thain was criticized for a lavish office renovation that included a $35,000 "commode on legs." "Greg having lived through the John Thain era I think that continues to be paramount in everybody's mind," said one bank executive close to Fleming.