Morgan Stanley CEO Assures Employees of Near-term Job Security
Hours after the Senate passed a $2 trillion coronavirus economic rescue package, Morgan Stanley Chairman and Chief Executive James Gorman assured employees that their jobs are safe for the rest of the year.
The message came as the U.S. Department of Labor reported that 3.28 million American filed unemployment claims last week as wide swaths of U.S. businesses went on hiatus or curtailed normal operating procedures.
Morgan Stanley early last week instructed the vast majority of its 15,000-plus wealth management advisors and their teams to work from home, and Gorman’s memo said about 90% of all bank employees are doing so in an effort to contain the spread of the highly contagious virus.
“[T]he normal bonds created by everyday interaction with colleagues have surely been impacted, he wrote, so I am hoping that my perspective on the Firm and the crisis will be helpful.”
The Senate stimulus package that the House of Representatives is expected to endorse greatly expands the number of people eligible for unemployment benefits and adds $600 per week to their state benefits.
“Slowly, governments across the world are putting aside their politics to arrive at blockbuster support and stimulus packages,” Gorman wrote. “Way too many people have lost their jobs overnight, and it is essential for governments to act as aggressively as they can….Turning to Morgan Stanley—all I can ask is that we do our best. I am incredibly proud of you! Working from home, supporting our clients and this great Firm, and helping your families throughout the physical and mental stress.”
He expressed his hope that the economy will be “on the mend” by the end of this year when “we will know what we are dealing with.”
Shares of Morgan Stanley, which had declined by 34.7% this year as of Wednesday’s close, were up 4.7% in early afternoon trading on Thursday amid a broad market uplift on optimism about the stimulus plan. Morgan Stanley typically defers a significant part of advisors’ annual compensation into investments that include company stock.