Mar 26, 2020 - Economy & Business

Memo: Morgan Stanley promises no layoffs in 2020

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata

Photo: Stephen Chernin/Getty Images

Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman today pledged that the Wall Street firm will not reduce headcount in 2020, according to an internal memo seen by Axios.

Why it matters: Morgan Stanley employs around 60,000 people, and every job counts at a time when millions of people are losing them.

Below is the memo, whose contents were confirmed to be accurate by a Morgan Stanley spokesperson:

I know your management teams across the Firm have been continuously communicating throughout this crisis, and I wanted to add an additional word. Approximately 90 percent of our employees are currently working from home. As a result, the normal bonds created by everyday interaction with colleagues have surely been impacted, so I am hoping that my perspective on the Firm and the crisis will be helpful.
You have all seen the Federal Reserve actions which are extraordinary but, given the circumstances, necessary. Markets cannot function without liquidity, and the Federal Reserve and other global regulators have taken real steps to address this critical issue. Slowly, governments across the world are putting aside their politics to arrive at blockbuster support and stimulus packages. Way too many people have lost their jobs overnight, and it is essential for governments to act as aggressively as they can. Now governments are focused on the surge in unemployment and putting in place significant measures in support of consumers, small businesses and corporations. This of course will take some time, but is badly needed.
Turning to Morgan Stanley – all I can ask is that we do our best. I am incredibly proud of you! Working from home, supporting our clients and this great Firm, and helping your families throughout the physical and mental stress.
I am sure some, if not many, of you are worried about your jobs. While long term we can’t be sure how this will play out, we want to commit to you that there will not be a reduction in force at Morgan Stanley in 2020. Aside from a performance issue or a breach of the Code of Conduct, your jobs are secure. This decision was made with 100 percent support of the Firm’s Operating Committee. At the end of this year, we will know what we are dealing with, and hopefully the economy will be on the mend by then.
Again, thank you for what you do every day to make this Firm so special.
Stay healthy and positive!
James

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8 a.m. ET: 5,945,737— Total deaths: 365,368 — Total recoveries — 2,515,675Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8 a.m. ET: 1,747,087 — Total deaths: 102,836 — Total recoveries: 406,446 — Total tested: 16,099,515Map.
  3. Supreme Court: Chief Justice Roberts sides with liberals in denying challenge to California's pandemic worship rules.
  4. Public health: Hydroxychloroquine prescription fills exploded in March.
  5. 2020: North Carolina asks RNC if convention will honor Trump's wish for no masks or social distancing.
  6. Business: Fed chair Powell says coronavirus is "great increaser" of income inequality.

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