Monday, June 13, 2005


After all these months of drama at Morgan Stanley with the old guard pressuring the firm to fire Philip Purcell, Purcell finally steps down. Christine, my wife, actually was at Morgan Stanley for a few years, but got tired of investment banking so she left. Anyway, here's the article:

After months of withering criticism of his management and dozens of high-profile defections, embattled Morgan Stanley CEO Philip Purcell said early Monday he's retiring as soon as a successor is named.

The company said Purcell will leave no later than March 2006, the date of the next annual meeting.

In a letter released by Morgan Stanley, Purcell wrote: "It has become clear that in light of the continuing personal attacks on me, and the unprecedented level of negative attention our Firm -- and each of you -- has had to endure, that this is the best thing I can do for you, our clients and our shareholders."

"I will retire when my successor is appointed," Purcell said.

Morgan Stanley shares rose 2.2%, or $1.11, to $50.99 at midday.

The company also said it expects its fiscal second-quarter earnings to be about 15% to 20% below the year-ago figure of $1.10 a share, based on weakened market conditions. The company will report results June 22.

Purcell was not asked to resign, company spokesmen said.

"Way too much attention is being paid to acrimony and criticism, most of it directed at me," Purcell said in a conference call adding that he made the decision "to get everybody's attention focused on performance and clients and what we are doing as opposed to a sideshow."
(full article)

Fortune had a good article I read on the inside drama a couple months ago, "Brahmins at the Gate." Classic banker line on the division between the white shoe Morgan Stanley guys and the Dean Witter guys (Purcell came from Dean Witter):

"We could always spot the Dean Witter guys," says a former Morgan banker. "All we had to do was go up to the gym. They were the ones who walked on the treadmills."

Hahaha... that arrogance with an underlying insecurity to make sure you're one up on the other guy. Also some bankers I knew from Morgan Stanley took too much pride in being at that firm. I guess in investment banking only Goldman Sachs is better in terms of history and reputation. One person I use to work with was at Lehman Brothers for over 13 years and 2 years at Morgan Stanley, but would only talk about his connection with Morgan Stanley when talking with people or clients. Hahaha... that cracked up me too. What a tool.

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