Davos round-up: BoA ‘over-achieved’ on hiring, Morgan Stanley’s succession plan and Shapps searches for Britain’s Silicon Valley
As some of the world’s most important CEOs, politicians and thinkers gather at the World Economic Forum in Davos, City A.M. wraps up some of the top lines from the day.
US bank layoffs
Major Wall Street lenders have been forced into making large scale redundancies in the face of a global economic slowdown.
Goldman’s international chief Richard Gnodde said in Davos today: “We’ve sized the firm to suit what we think the outlook will be.” After one of the largest round of redundancies in its history, the outlook must be pretty bad.
Bank of America has not been forced to cut jobs yet even though CEO Brian Moynihan said “we over-achieved on the hiring side.”
However, the bank will slow hiring as its ‘attrition rate’ has slumped. “I’ve been telling people we’re going to have enough people do a great job for our customers, but let’s be careful,” he said.
Watch this space.
Morgan Stanley’s succession plan
Many a medieval monarchy collapsed under the pressure of succession, so investors will be pleased to hear that plans are well underway to replace James Gorman at Morgan Stanley.
“You plan a generation of people who can take over,” Gorman, who became CEO in 2010, said in an interview with Bloomberg TV.
The contenders for the top job are the bank’s co-presidents, Ted Pick and Andy Saperstein, as well as Dan Simkowitz, the lender’s investment management chief.
“They’re all very talented executives”, Gorman said, but “ultimately the board will decide.”
Shapps wonders where the startups have gone
Although Rishi Sunak didn’t make the trip to Davos, business secretary Grant Shapps did head out to the Swiss Alps.
Shapps came to a fringe lunch event with a big new idea: “Silicon Valley with a British edge.”
“We produce more billion-dollar unicorn startups than France, Germany and the Netherlands put together. But why do so many companies move abroad after being nurtured in the UK?” he said.
Shapps, however, may have inadvertently answered his own question earlier when he expressed his concerns about Brexit. Shapps, who voted to remain in the European Union, told assembled lunch guests he had been against Brexit because “it was a huge hassle to leave”.
Guess we’ll have to ask the startups why they left.