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With Jonathan Pruzan’s Promotion, Morgan Stanley CEO Gorman Grooming Firm Leadership’s Next Generation

Last Tuesday, Morgan Stanley announced that investment banker Jonathan Pruzan, 46, would succeed finance chief Ruth Porat, who leaves for Google Inc.

 

Jonathan Pruzan

Morgan Stanley Chairman and Chief Executive James Gorman, 56, plans more changes in his management team in the near future, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Gorman is preparing Morgan Stanley for the next phase of its transformation, grooming the new generation of executives who are still in their 40s.

Gorman, who says he is “the accidental CEO, ” wants his successor, when the time comes, to be better prepared.

Last Tuesday, Morgan Stanley announced that investment banker Jonathan Pruzan, 46, would succeed finance chief Ruth Porat, who leaves for Google Inc.

According to a memo Gorman wrote to employees, Pruzan, who has spent almost half his life at Morgan Stanley, co-leads the team that advises banks and other financial-services companies.

For most of his career, Pruzan has been a banker to banks. He was promoted to his current role as global co-head of the financial institutions group in 2010, succeeding Porat in that role. His promotion actually coincided with Mr. Gorman’s elevation to the CEO role.

Gorman wrote that Pruzan “understands the current regulatory environment” in post 2008 Wall Street.

“He brings both great technical skill and proven leadership to this new role, ” Gorman stated. “Healthy change maintains the vitality of an organization, and energizes and engages individual leaders at every level of the firm. These changes are part of our continued path forward from a period of repositioning to a period of growth.”

Five years ago, Gorman inherited a firm that had barely avoided annihilation during the financial crisis. He boosted the wealth-management direction by grabbing Citigroup’s Smith Barney unit while the crisis was still good and chaotic, and shifted away from risk-taking trading, which had become entangled in new rules.

Despite a pace that was too slow for Gorman, eventually, wealth-management started producing higher profits. Morgan Stanley was then able to return more capital to shareholders in stock buybacks and dividends, the WSJ reported. And with the growth in revenue, the stock price rose.

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