James Gorman Reflects on His Tenure as CEO of Morgan Stanley

25 December 2023

Outgoing CEO James Gorman rates his performance at Morgan Stanley and looks ahead to new endeavors

James Gorman, the outgoing CEO of Morgan Stanley, recently gave himself an A- grade for his time at the investment bank. In a candid interview with the Financial Times, Gorman reflected on his 14-year tenure, highlighting the company’s growth and success during his leadership. As he prepares to step down from his role, Gorman expressed his excitement for new opportunities, including a focus on teaching.

A Decade of Growth

Under Gorman’s leadership, Morgan Stanley experienced significant growth and success. The CEO proudly pointed out that the company’s stock price had nearly tripled during his tenure. This achievement is a testament to Gorman’s strategic decision-making and ability to navigate the ever-changing landscape of the financial industry.

Justifying the Grade

When asked about his A- rating, Gorman explained that it would be immodest to give himself a higher grade but “false modesty” to mark himself lower. This self-assessment reflects Gorman’s commitment to honesty and transparency. By acknowledging both his accomplishments and areas for improvement, he demonstrates a balanced and self-aware leadership style.

A Legacy of Transformation

Gorman’s legacy at Morgan Stanley extends beyond financial performance. During his tenure, he spearheaded numerous transformative initiatives, including a focus on wealth management and a shift towards a more sustainable business model. These efforts have positioned Morgan Stanley as a leader in responsible investing and have garnered praise from both investors and industry peers.

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The Importance of Diversity

Throughout his time as CEO, Gorman has been a vocal advocate for diversity and inclusion. He recognized the value of diverse perspectives in driving innovation and fostering a culture of collaboration. Under his leadership, Morgan Stanley implemented initiatives to increase diversity within the company, including the launch of the Multicultural Innovation Lab and the Sustainable Investing Council.

Looking Ahead

As Gorman prepares to pass the baton to his successor, he expressed his enthusiasm for new endeavors. One of his main focuses will be teaching, as he plans to share his wealth of knowledge and experience with future generations of business leaders. Gorman’s passion for education aligns with his belief in the importance of continuous learning and personal growth.

Conclusion: James Gorman’s tenure as CEO of Morgan Stanley has been marked by impressive growth, transformative initiatives, and a commitment to diversity and inclusion. His self-assigned A- grade reflects his humility and recognition of both his achievements and areas for improvement. As he embarks on a new chapter in his career, Gorman’s dedication to education and mentorship will undoubtedly leave a lasting impact on the business world.

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