Morgan Stanley just promoted a leading contender to eventually succeed CEO James Gorman

  • Trading chief Ted Pick named head of entire institutional securities group.
  • Pick, 49, has been steadily adding responsibilities at Morgan Stanley since helping the firm regain the No. 1 ranking in equities trading.

Morgan Stanley gave trading chief Ted Pick added responsibilities over investment banking activities, including merger advice, in a sign he is a leading contender to eventually succeed Chief Executive Officer James Gorman.

Pick, 49, will become head of the institutional securities group, reporting to Morgan Stanley President Colm Kelleher, according to a Tuesday memo from Gorman and Kelleher. The division includes the investment banking and trading businesses and typically accounts for roughly half of the New York-based firm’s revenue.

“Broadening the experience and skill sets of our senior leaders is a critical component of sustaining Morgan Stanley’s future success,” Gorman and Kelleher said in the memo. “Leading ISG is a natural next step” for Pick, according to the memo.

Pick, a Morgan Stanley veteran who started in the firm’s investment bank, has been steadily adding responsibilities. As head of equities trading, he helped Morgan Stanley return to a No. 1 ranking after the financial crisis damaged its business. He then added oversight of a struggling fixed income division and has been credited with helping turn it around. With the addition of investment banking, Pick has oversight of what has historically been the firm’s marquee operations.

Gorman isn’t leaving anytime soon. In 2016, amid a management overhaul that included elevating Kelleher to president, the firm said Gorman was planning to lead Morgan Stanley for at least another five years.

The bank also named Franck Petitgas, who had been co-head of investment banking since 2013, the new head of its international operations. Susie Huang was named co-head of investment banking with Mark Eichorn.

Given Pick’s increasing responsibilities, he named a trio of executives to run the firm’s equities trading division. Gokul Laroia, David Russell and Alan Thomas will be global co-heads of the business, Pick said in a Tuesday memo.

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