Morgan Stanley Said to Follow Goldman Dumping Numbers in Reviews

Morgan Stanley bankers will be getting something new in their next performance review: adjectives.

Instead of the 1-to-5 scale the investment bank has long used for ratings, supervisors will be asked to pick words that describe each employee, according to a person with knowledge of the matter, who asked not to be identified discussing company policies. The changes follow a similar switch at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., which told bankers last month that it was scrapping a system that scored employees on a nine-point scale in favor of one more focused on strengths and weaknesses.

Wall Street banks, in a bid to attract and retain younger employees, have been trying to lose their reputation as a place for high-paying but thankless jobs by making changes like requiring analysts to take some weekends off. Zurich-based UBS Group AG will now let bankers take two hours per week for personal matters, Reuters reported Wednesday.

“Wall Street isn’t suddenly going to become a 9-to-5 job where there’s no pressure,” said Richard Lipstein, managing director of New York-based recruiting firm Gilbert Tweed International. “But they want to make working conditions better and feedback more detailed.”

Morgan Stanley’s new evaluation system is intended to produce feedback that’s more direct and useful, the person said. Employees will be graded on other factors along with how much money they bring in for the firm, according to the New York Times, which reported on the program earlier Thursday.

Of course, the bank isn’t getting rid of the main way bankers determine how they really rank -- annual bonuses.

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