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Morgan Stanley Pledges No Layoffs in 2020

By Eric Volkman - Mar 27, 2020 at 4:29PM

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The promise, made by CEO James Gorman, covers more than 60,400 employees.

Morgan Stanley (MS 0.42%) employees have one critical thing they won't need to worry about through the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus pandemic -- their jobs.

Various media are reporting that CEO James Gorman has officially assured employees that they will keep their positions through the end of this year. 

Quoting from an intra-company memo it obtained, CNBC reported that Gorman wrote that "[w]hile 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," he added.

Facade of a Morgan Stanley office.

Image source: Morgan Stanley.

The company had just over 60,400 employees at the end of last year.

Morgan Stanley is a so-called "white shoe" investment bank, meaning that it is considered one of the more prestigious companies in its industry. As such, it likely feels some responsibility to act as a kind of model for the broader investment banking sector.

Unlike other financial services companies and big banks, Morgan Stanley is not making drastic moves -- at least not yet --  to guard against the expected economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. Earlier this month it declared a new set of dividends for holders of its preferred stock. 

It also pledged to devote $10 million to help relief efforts in the wake of the outbreak. In the words of the company, this is to cover "frontline medical responders globally as well as community providers serving those economically impacted by the crisis."

In spite of the positive news for its workforce, Morgan Stanley stock fell more or less in line with the general slump of the stock market on Friday. It slipped by almost 5% on the day. 


Eric Volkman has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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