A top contender to succeed Morgan Stanley (MS) CEO James Gorman is retiring, narrowing the field of potential future leaders for the firm as Wall Street firms cut jobs and slash bonuses amid weak financial markets and slowing economic growth.
- Morgan Stanley COO Jonathan Pruzan will retire at the end of January.
- Pruzan was among four top contenders to succeed CEO James Gorman within the next few years.
- Other potential CEOs include Dan Simkowitz, Andy Saperstein, and Ted Pick.
- Morgan Stanley and other Wall Street firms have laid off thousands of employees in recent weeks.
Morgan Stanley COO Jonathan Pruzan will step down at the end of the month after more than a year and a half in the role and 29 years at the firm. Pruzan was the bank's CFO until May 2021 and had previously overseen the restructuring of debt for General Motors Co. (GM).
When Pruzan was named COO as part of a broader restructuring of Morgan Stanley's executive leadership, Gorman identified his long-time adviser as one of four potential contenders to one day run the firm. The others, all men, include Dan Simkowitz, the head of investment management; Andy Saperstein, the firm's wealth management chief; and Ted Pick, leader of Morgan Stanley's investment banking and trading divisions.
Gorman has had the top job at Morgan Stanley since 2010, making him one of the longest-tenured CEOs on Wall Street. During the executive leadership changes in 2021, he said he would stay in the role for at least three more years.
Changes at the top for Morgan Stanley come as the firm and many other top banks have initiated sweeping workforce reductions to cut costs and return to pre-pandemic annual underperformance reviews. Morgan Stanley trimmed its employee count by about 1,600, or 2% of its global workforce, in December. Earlier this week, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) announced it would eliminate about 7% of positions, or 3,200, amid plunging profits.