The newspaper says that the reassurance came as some rank-and-file bankers at Morgan Stanley privately expressed surprise and dismay at the news that Paul Taubman, the firm's head of investment banking, had lost a power struggle with fixed income boss Colm Kelleher, and is to leave.
The Journal says that 'some Morgan Stanley bankers said they worried that the new chiefs of investment banking didn't have the stature of Taubman, who spent a significant amount of time as a mergers banker and was known internally for his staunch support of the firm's investment-banking franchise'.
'People are upset', one senior person inside the firm told the newspaper.
In the meantime, Reuters reports that Morgan Stanley is aiming to win market share in bond trading, but it is not big enough to compete against rivals like Goldman Sachs, and should instead focus on shrinking that business, JPMorgan analyst Kian Abouhossein analyst has said.
'If you're a FICC Fixed Income, Currency and Commodities player which only makes $6bn of annual revenue — which Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse and UBS are — and you try to run an institutional business, you will struggle against the top six players which make more than $10-14bn in revenue because you don't have the scale to compete', Abouhossein said.
Abouhossein said, however, that he does not think Morgan Stanley will have to cut back the way UBS did.
Finally, here's an interesting stat from The Wall Street Journal's Heard on the Street column:
The combined stock holdings of Morgan Stanley’s top five executives in the firm comes to $78m, according to FactSet, against $495m for the top three Goldman execs.