Morgan Stanley Chief Executive Officer James Gorman unveiled his biggest leadership shakeup in more than a decade, positioning a small group of lieutenants — and two in particular — as his most likely successors.
Ted Pick, the architect of Morgan Stanley’s trading revival, and Andy Saperstein, who built the company into a wealth-management powerhouse, were tapped as co-presidents and given expanded roles atop the Wall Street bank that’s been gaining ground on rivals.
Among a slate of others changes: Investment management chief Dan Simkowitz will gain clout as co-head of strategy alongside Pick, and Chief Financial Officer Jon Pruzan will become chief operating officer.
The shuffle thrusts the quartet into a public bake-off to succeed Gorman, whose 11-year tenure makes him one of the longest-serving heads of any major U.S. bank. Behind the scenes, the boss has told the board he plans to stay on at least three more years, according to a person familiar with the matter.
“I am highly confident one of them will be the CEO in the future,” Gorman, 62, said of his leadership team in an interview. “It feels like the right time to more formally set up a transition over the next few years.”
The shakeup happens to come just two days after JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s Jamie Dimon — the only head of a giant U.S. bank with a tenure longer than Gorman’s — reconfigured his own leadership team, promoting two women who could someday assume his post.
Morgan Stanley’s CFO role will pass to investor relations head Sharon Yeshaya, giving her a more prominent voice among investors and analysts.
The spot as Gorman’s top deputy had been vacant for two years since the exit of the firm’s colorful President Colm Kelleher, who was older than the CEO. That departure set off a race for the next generation of executives, and Gorman gave them some time to prove themselves.
He ultimately landed on two who were key to Morgan Stanley’s comeback from the 2008 financial crisis, helping to strengthen its Wall Street operations and building up a franchise tending to customers’ money. Morgan Stanley has turned out the best stock performance among top rivals in the last five years, making managers hopeful that it’s forever buried the pejorative that long dogged the company: the littlest big bank.