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Morgan Stanley CEO stepping aside within a year

The chief executive of Morgan Stanley confirmed Friday he intends to step down from his role with the New York investment bank within a year. Photo courtesy of Morgan Stanley
1 of 3 | The chief executive of Morgan Stanley confirmed Friday he intends to step down from his role with the New York investment bank within a year. Photo courtesy of Morgan Stanley

May 19 (UPI) -- The chief executive of Morgan Stanley confirmed Friday he intends to step down from his role with the New York investment bank within a year.

James Gorman broke the news during a meeting with shareholders, adding the search for his replacement is down to three internal candidates.

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The 64-year-old native of Melbourne, Australia, has been the bank's CEO since taking over in January 2010. He will remain in an executive chairman role for "a period of time" following his formal departure.

Ted Pick, Andy Saperstein and Dan Simkowitz, who run three of Morgan Stanley's business divisions, are the three finalists to replace Gorman, NBC reported, citing people knowledgeable with the matter.

Pick leads the company's institutional securities group, while Saperstein is its director of wealth management. Simkowitz heads up investment management and is also co-leader of firm strategy and execution.

"The specific timing of the CEO transition has not been determined, but it is the board's and my expectation that it will occur at some point in the next 12 months," Gorman told shareholders Friday.

"That is the current expectation in the absence of a major change in the external environment."

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Gorman took over the top job in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis when the bank was on the brink of collapse, orchestrating a full turnaround. In 2019, the bank made its largest investment since the crash when it spent $900 million to buy a Canadian software platform startup based in Calgary.

"In my now long career, I've seen a lot of environments. Some challenging, some not. Some crisis, some not," Gorman said Friday.

"I remain extraordinarily optimistic about the future Morgan Stanley and broader economy."

Shares of Morgan Stanley fell following the news, down $1.20 or 1.44% to $83.27 as of 10:47 a.m. EDT Friday.

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