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Reuters: That Damn Greg Fleming, He's So Hot Right Now!

Somebody get Breakingviews a foamy latte.

So what if Greg Fleming maybe/probably lost a power struggle with newly-minted Morgan Stanley president Colm Kelleher and is no longer an employee at the bank? According to Reuters Breakingviews, Greg Fleming is the hottest about-to-be-CEO on all of Wall Street...

Morgan Stanley’s latest management revamp puts a chief executive on the market.
James Gorman, the $61 billion Wall Street bank’s boss, on Wednesday appointed Colm Kelleher the sole president and his heir apparent, leaving co-president Gregory Fleming in the cold. Mr. Kelleher is the ultimate Wall Street survivor. But Mr. Fleming may find his skills in high demand.

So, who will be lucky enough to get their hands on this in-demand hot property first?

Mr. Fleming, 52, may have missed some of the more obvious recent chief executive jobs in the financial industry — assuming he wanted them — such as running Barclays. The board of BlackRock, though, might consider him as a successor to the 63-year-old chief, Laurence D. Fink, with whom Mr. Fleming is close.

But Larry Fink is likely going nowhere, and it seems hard to fathom that BlackRock would promote from outside the family. Is Greg Fleming that hot?

American Express’s chief, Kenneth Chenault, has been having problems recently. The stock has dropped nearly a third in the last 12 months and attracted the attention of the activist hedge fund ValueAct Capital after losing a big-ticket contract with the retailer Costco. Now on the market, Mr. Fleming may appeal to Amex’s directors as a potential replacement.

Okay, Breakingviews clearly thinks that Greg Fleming is hot enough to not only run AmEx but be the face of the Centurion on the actual cards. That said, Fleming is a banker, is he not hot enough for banks?

Some of America’s regional banks may consider hiring Fleming, too. Advising them on mergers and acquisitions was his specialty earlier in his career at Merrill Lynch. With the Federal Reserve now showing more willingness to allow lenders to merge, Mr. Fleming might even be in a position to put his old tricks to use.

Hot and crafty? Take a cold shower, Breakingviews.

Morgan Stanley Management Shuffle Puts a C.E.O. on the Market [Reuters BreakingViews]


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