Corman will step down within a year

  • Morgan Stanley Chairman James Gorman said Friday that he plans to step down as the bank’s CEO later this year, triggering a succession race at one of Wall Street’s top firms.
  • The bank’s board has narrowed its CEO search to three “very strong” internal candidates, Gorman said.
  • He will assume the role of acting chairman “for a limited period” after he steps down as CEO.

Morgan Stanley Chairman James Gorman plans to step down as CEO within a year, setting off a succession battle over one of Wall Street’s most dominant firms on Friday.

The bank’s board has narrowed its CEO search to three “very strong” internal candidates, Corman told shareholders at the New York-based firm’s annual meeting.

Gorman, 64, will assume the role of acting chairman “for a period of time” after stepping down as CEO, he said.

“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 said.

“That is the current expectation in the absence of a major change in the environment,” he added.

Since taking over 2010, Corman has pulled off one of the most successful turnarounds on Wall Street. Through shrewd acquisitions, Morgan Stanley nearly turned around during the 2008 financial crisis to become a widely respected wealth management juggernaut.

The company’s investors have rewarded it with one of the best valuations among its big bank peers. This is because shareholders favor stable income streams generated by wealth and asset management rather than high volatile fees from trading and advisory businesses.

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Check out the chart…

Morgan Stanley held the stake during CEO James Corman’s tenure.

The announcement officially marks Corman’s desire to hand over the reins to another administrator. Gorman said publicly He hasn’t planned to last long as CEO for the past few years, joking on Friday that he won’t die while holding the title.

Corman has “no plans to move out Logan Roy,” the fictional CEO of HBO’s successor series, he told investors.

This story is developing. Check back for updates.

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