Thursday 12 December 2019

Irishman Kelleher lined up for top job at Morgan Stanley in latest reshuffle

Morgan Stanley headquarters in New York
Morgan Stanley headquarters in New York

Michael Cogley

US investment bank Morgan Stanley has named an Irishman Colm Kelleher, as its sole president, seemingly paving the way for him eventually to step up to the role of chief executive.

The appointment by Morgan Stanley's chief executive, Jack Gorman (57), effectively makes Kelleher his heir apparent - though the two men are in fact similar in age.

Mr Kelleher, who joined the firm in 1989, previously headed up its biggest unit as president of the global bank's investment banking and trading division.

However, while the Corkman has been tipped to take over as CEO, it doesn't seem like it will happen any time soon as it is understood that Mr Gorman will remain at the head of the bank for at least another five years.

According to reports from Bloomberg, Mr Gorman intends to stay for between five to seven years as CEO. Mr Gorman has already been in the role for over five years, including turning the bank around following the financial crisis.

Mr Gorman's attempts to return the bank to its former glory continued last month after it was announced that Morgan Stanley would cut 1,200 jobs.

It was revealed that the bank would take a severance charge of $150m (€138m) in the fourth quarter to cover the cost of cutting the workers worldwide.

Mr Kelleher was appointed to the role of president ahead of the bank's head of wealth management, Greg Fleming.

Mr Fleming (52), who has spent six years at Morgan Stanley, announced that he is departing the firm. His departure means that as well as taking on the responsibilities of president, Mr Kelleher will also have to look after the bank's wealth management division.

As the executive vice president at the Wall Street bank Mr Kelleher made over $8m in 2013.

Before he joined the bank, Mr Kelleher spent four years at Arthur Andersen in London, at what was then one of the 'big five' accounting firms.

He qualified as a chartered accountant in 1983 having graduated from Oxford University.

Mr Kelleher, who is one of nine siblings, famously conducted a business meeting on his back to accommodate a sporting injury.

Last year the Sunday Independent listed him as the country's 184th richest man, with personal wealth of €71m.

Mr Kelleher is due to share a stage with Taoiseach Enda Kenny at Dublin Castle later this month a conference on European banking organised in association with the IDA. (Additional reporting Reuters and Bloomberg)

Irish Independent

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