Morgan Stanley\’s straight-talking new CEO Ted Pick taking charge

In the upcoming week, as Ted Pick assumes the position of Morgan Stanley\’s new CEO, the seasoned banker with thirty years of experience is anticipated to navigate the firm through a deceleration in dealmaking. Tom Glocer, Morgan Stanley\’s independent lead director and former Reuters CEO, praised Pick\’s calm demeanor in challenging situations, deeming it a valuable asset. Glocer specifically pointed to Pick\’s disciplined approach, citing an incident in 2021 when Pick, laboring through a weekend, successfully curtailed the firm\’s exposure to Archegos Capital Management, averting further losses during the family office\’s collapse.

At 55, Pick will step into the leadership role amid heightened economic uncertainty and geopolitical tensions. While dealmaking conditions show gradual improvement, the overall activity remains sluggish, presenting challenges for the banking industry.

Recognized for his adept navigation of market cycles, Pick\’s career highlights include successful management of initial public offerings (IPOs) and overseeing Morgan Stanley\’s stock buyback program during the global financial crisis. His effective handling of the 2008 crisis, where Morgan Stanley was saved by a U.S. government bailout and investment from Mitsubishi UFJ, earned him respect and fostered long-term relationships with influential figures like Roberto Mignone, the founder of Bridger Capital.

Colleagues have acknowledged Pick\’s candid communication style and his ability to anticipate market challenges, with billionaire Hamilton \”Tony\” James characterizing him as a \”truth teller.\” Despite holding a pivotal role in finance, Pick maintains a low profile and values personal relationships. This family-oriented and down-to-earth approach is evident in his preference for private birthday celebrations and attendance at his daughters\’ school events.

As Pick assumes the reins from outgoing CEO James Gorman, the challenges posed by a decline in investment banking revenue and the necessity for a strategic update will be closely monitored. Gorman, credited with transforming Morgan Stanley into a wealth management powerhouse, will transition to the role of executive chairman during Pick\’s tenure. The new CEO, equipped with a broad range of experience, is expected to unveil his first quarterly earnings and present a strategy update in mid-January.

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