Gorman Says He Told Staff Not to Circulate Op-Ed on Goldman

James Gorman
James Gorman, chief executive officer of Morgan Stanley, at the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) annual meeting in New York. Photographer: Jin Lee/Bloomberg

Morgan Stanley Chief Executive Officer James Gorman said he told staff not to circulate a Goldman Sachs Group Inc. employee’s op-ed criticizing that firm and that it wasn’t fair for a newspaper to publish it.

“I was surprised that anyone would run an op-ed piece based upon the view of a single employee,” said Gorman, speaking at an event in New York hosted by Fortune magazine. “To pick a random employee, I just don’t think it’s fair, and I didn’t think it was balanced.”

The Goldman Sachs employee, Greg Smith, assailed that firm’s top managers and treatment of clients while explaining in a New York Times op-ed why he was quitting. Goldman Sachs said it disagrees with his assertions. The New York-based firm sent a memo to current and former employees, saying most of its workers believe it provides exceptional service to clients.

Gorman joins JPMorgan Chase & Co. CEO Jamie Dimon in warning executives not to take advantage of the op-ed, which has opened a public debate over how New York-based Goldman Sachs treats customers. Goldman Sachs’s shares lost $2.15 billion in value on March 14, the day it was published.

“At any point in time, somebody’s unhappy with me, with the organization, with the board, with the direction of the firm,” Gorman said. “There but for the grace of God go us.”

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