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Morgan Stanley CEO to staff: Be back at New York headquarters by September

06/14/2021 | 05:36pm

NEW YORK (Reuters) -Morgan Stanley's chief executive officer said on Monday that if most employees are not back to work at the bank's Manhattan headquarters in September, he will be "very disappointed."

"If you want to get paid in New York, you need to be in New York," CEO James Gorman, speaking from the bank's offices at 1585 Broadway, told analysts and investors during a virtual conference.

Like the rest of Wall Street, most of Morgan Stanley's nearly 70,000 employees worked remotely during the pandemic. But in recent weeks, rival banks JPMorgan Chase & Co and Goldman Sachs Group Inc have begun to bring employees back to U.S. offices on a rotational basis.

Gorman said his bank's policy will vary by location, noting the firm's 2,000 employees in India will not return to offices this year. As of Monday, India has reported more than 29 million cases of COVID-19.

During the wide-ranging conversation, Gorman said the bank's revenues in the second quarter "look good" and that it will "likely" make another acquisition in its wealth management business.

On the bank's recent leadership changes, Gorman said he does not plan to step down from the CEO job for several years but that he now has four or five people who could replace him if needed.

Gorman also talked about the internal review the bank conducted after the meltdown of investing firm Archegos Capital Management, which resulted in Morgan Stanley losing $911 million earlier this year.

Morgan Stanley reviewed all large, single-name margin positions backed by the bank, Gorman said, and found nothing concerning.

A client of Morgan Stanley and several other banks, Archegos faced the biggest margin call in history when it amassed significant holdings of one stock, which suddenly lost value.

(Reporting by Elizabeth Dilts Marshall in New YorkEditing by Matthew Lewis)

© Reuters 2021
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