First of all, it’s important to know that everyone in Australia has a nickname.
Within days, if not minutes of meeting a new colleague — or anyone for that matter — a first name gets shortened, or a surname gets manipulated, into a new moniker.
For example, all my best friends call me something different; either some derivative of Katya, or something totally unrelated to my name that arose out of something funny that happened to us once upon a time, or some event or place they associate with me.
I know it’s weird. But that’s the Aussie way.
At the HuffPo, Gasparino writes:
Here’s something you should know about Morgan Stanley’s chief executive officer James Gorman: Never call him “Jim.”
I’ve been covering Wall Street now for two decades and never before have I been corrected by a CEOs’ handlers about a first name as much as I have when it comes to Gorman…
Of course, Gorman should go by whatever name makes him feel comfortable, but there is something unsettling about someone in charge of so much worrying about something so trivial (it wasn’t like I called him “Jimbo”).
Now I understand why the man would abhor walking through the halls of Morgan Stanley and having colleagues yell: Jimbo, what’s happening? Or, Gormey – how’s the new office? But the name Jim is, apart from being totally inoffensive, a common name in the corporate ranks of major financial brands. Goldman Sachs Asset Management chairman is Jim O’Neill, and if it’s good enough for Goldman Sachs…
Gasparino says the Wall Street consensus is that Gorman and his PR team’s anti-Jim stance stems from his lack of experience, and it’s an attempt to persuade people “he’s a serious CEO to compensate for what some on Wall Street believe is a serious lack of the right kind of experience to run a major investment bank.”
And now analysts are laughing at him because of the dictate, which completely undercuts this whole projection-of-seriousness project anyway. “We all call him ‘James don’t call me Jim Gorman,” one said.
Gorman isn’t one to keep his anger on the down-low though, so best the analysts continue to mock in private.
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