James Gorman, executive chairman of Morgan Stanley, will retire at the end of the year

At Morgan Stanley’s annual shareholder meeting on Thursday, executive chairman James Gorman announced he would step down on December 31. Gorman highlighted the “successful transition” of Ted Pick, who became CEO earlier this year. Following this announcement, the bank’s stock dipped nearly 1% in morning trading.

Gorman, who served as CEO for 14 years, is credited with transforming Morgan Stanley into a wealth management powerhouse. His succession plan, which saw Ted Pick take the top role while retaining the other CEO candidates, Andy Saperstein and Dan Simkowitz, is considered a rare move on Wall Street.

Shareholders approved all of management’s proposals, including the election of Directors and executive pay, while rejecting all shareholder proposals. Proxy adviser Glass Lewis had urged shareholders to oppose the executive pay proposal. Gorman was awarded $37 million by the Board, with Pick and the other CEO candidates receiving one-time awards of $20 million each.

Morgan Stanley’s first-quarter profit surpassed expectations, driven by a resurgence in investment banking and growth in wealth management. The annual meeting lasted under half an hour, with Gorman noting it was the fastest shareholder meeting in 15 years, reflecting the “stellar start” his successors have made.


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