Morgan Stanley CEO says no immediate plans to step down

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FILE PHOTO: James P. Gorman, chairman & CEO of Morgan Stanley, testifies before a House Financial Services Committeeon Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., April 10, 2019. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein

(Reuters) – Morgan Stanley (MS.N) Chief Executive Officer James Gorman has no immediate plans to step down and is developing a strong second rung of leadership, the Wall Street banker told CNBC on Friday.

“I want to develop a team to replace me,” he said, adding he had “no desire to be here when I’m 70 years old.”

The comments come against the backdrop of uncertainty over the bank’s long-term succession planning after the retirement in June of former president Colm Kelleher, Gorman’s second-in-command and widely seen as a potential successor.

After Kelleher’s departure was announced, Gorman had said co-presidents could be named, but no appointments have been made yet.

Internally, potential successors include Ted Pick, who has Colm’s old job of running institutional securities, and Andy Saperstein, who runs wealth management.

Gorman also said the U.S. Federal Reserve should hold rates steady and sounded confident about the health of the consumer, which had helped buoy reut.rs/2tbw785 big banks’ third-quarter earnings.

He also said the bank would “always” remain based in London, as Britain speeds here toward Brexit after Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s crushing election victory.

Reporting by Bharath Manjesh in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila

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