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Why the Gorman news isn’t big news

I’m still trying to figure out why much of the financial press seems to think the announcement that James Gorman will replace John Mack as CEO at Morgan Stanley is some shocking event. It would have been a big shock if Gorman didn’t get the job.

Sure, Morgan Stanley had to go through the obligatory search process. And there was always a chance someone other than Gorman would replace Mack.

But Mack brought Gorman into Morgan Stanley to be his heir apparent. And it seemed pretty clear he would be next line after he was appointed to oversee the integration of Morgan Stanley’s joint venture with Smith Barney.

In any event, here’s me talking about the changing of the guard at Morgan Stanley on Reuter’s Insider–our version of online TV.

Bye bye Mack

John Mack is making way for a changing of the guard at Morgan Stanley.

The Wall Street firm says Mack is stepping aside as CEO at year’s end to make way for James Gorman, long seen by many on Wall Street as Mack’s heir apparent.

Mack will remain as chairman.

The move is not surprising. The past year, of course, has been a grueling one for Mack and Morgan Stanley. But his energy level has been running on low and it’s clearly time for a new direction at the firm.

Mack is no Blankfein, thankfully

John Mack is being pilloried by some on Wall Street for not being more like Goldman Sachs’ Lloyd Blankfein, after Morgan Stanley reported a larger-than-expected second-quarter loss largely because of several onetime expenses.

But the “Be like Lloyd” rallying cry is mainly coming from traders with Twitter-like attention spans, who simply want Mack and Morgan Stanley to engage in the same kind of government-backed risk-taking that Blankfein’s Goldman Sachs is doing when it comes to proprietary trading.

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