Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman was just profiled in Fortune.
And it turns out he has some huge fans on Wall Street, including former Merrill CEO David Komansky, BlackRock’s Larry Fink, and, not that this one’s a surprise, Morgan Stanley Chairman and Gorman’s predecessor, John Mack.
Unlike Charlie Gasparino, the trio has nothing but love for the Aussie banker.
Here’s what the big dogs say about James:
Larry Fink (who was the one who recommended Gorman for the job at Morgan Stanley, by the way)
“James isn’t a backslapper… [And] that’s not what John [Mack] needed at the time. He needed strategic thinking and cohesiveness. That’s also what Morgan Stanley needs right now. James brings teams together in a much more comprehensive and analytical way than other CEOs tend to do. In a firm that size, getting the troops’ respect is as important as anything. And I think he’s earning it.”
David Komansky (former Merrill CEO and Gorman’s old boss)
“He had a nice balance between academic ruthlessness and people skills. McKinsey people (Gorman is an ex-McKinsey man, btw) are intellectually acute, but they normally come up a little short on the people side. James had the ability to form his ideas and then sell them to the people involved, as opposed to trying to use the power of the assignment to make them do what he wanted.”
“Investment banks like to have organ rejection when you come in from the outside. And [James] didn’t get that. He had this ability to paint a picture of his vision that was so clear it looked like it was taken with a camera. Everyone understood what we were trying to do… Now he’s doing it for the entire firm.”