/ By Albert Hecht /
It is no easy achievement to rise to the top in the tough and hyper-competitive, world of Wall Street, and even more so if you are a woman. A case in point is that of Ruth Porat , who , having reached the one of the pinnacles of the street as chief financial officer of Morgan Stanley, has shown her determination to stay there.
Despite being courted by no less than President Obama to take on the role of deputy to Jack Lew, the recently appointed Secretary Treasury, Ms. Porat has announced her decision that that the cut and thrust of Wall Street banking is where she feels most comfortable.
US Treasury officials were convinced that Ruth Porat would have acted as an ideal foil for Lew, who is known to be stronger in budgetary matters, and will be more than capable of filling the large size shoes of the previous secretary Tim Geithner came to Capitol Hill with a wealth of experience garnered when he was president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York
The rumors coming from Capitol Hill and Wall Street almost simultaneously pointing in the direction that although Ms Porat was regarded by many as the most natural contender for the position, she was far from being everyone’s favorite. A number of Democratic Senators were reportedly amongst her most ardent critics, pointing out Ms. Porat have been particularly outstanding amongst a group of Wall Street executives who had vigorously lobbied key US regulators to soften some post-financial crisis reforms. Reforms that, according to official documentation, were being supported by the Obama administration.
With Ruth Porat now out of the running for the post of Deputy Treasury Secretary one of the leading favorites is reported to be Gary Gensler, a former leading executive at Goldman Sachs who is now in charge of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. In the event that Gensler does get the call he too will bring with him many years of experience in the world of banking as well as in the public sector having acted as Under Secretary to the Treasury between 1999 and 2001
Born in the UK and brought to the US as a child, Ruth Porat is one of the highest rated women on Wall Street, with some highly impressive education credentials taking in a graduate degree in Industrial Relations from the London School of Economics followed up by a degree in economics from Stanford University and topped off with an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. So well known and respected in the world of banking is Ms. Porat that she had an entire chapter written about her in the influential book “ “How Remarkable Women Lead.
Ruth Porat has been with Morgan Stanley since 1987, surviving and progressing through the good years and bad, although taking some time out to join a smaller Wall Street outfit in 1993. However the call of Morgan Stanley proved too strong and she returned there in 1996, gradually climbing up the ladder till she reached the post of chief financial officer of Morgan Stanley. A post that is obviously hammered deep enough into the pavement at Wall Street that it will tie her there forever, no matter how much and from where the temptation comes from.