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The Wall Street Journal: Colm Kelleher, Morgan Stanley’s No. 2 executive, to retire

Morgan Stanley’s second-in-command, Colm Kelleher, is retiring, opening a seat whose filling will signal the Wall Street firm’s likely heir apparent.

Kelleher, who joined Morgan Stanley MS, +1.35% in 1989, is older than Chief Executive James Gorman and wasn’t considered a candidate to succeed him. As the firm’s president, he has overseen its restructuring from an undisciplined and error-prone investment bank to a stabler financial-services giant.

Gorman praised his lieutenant’s “fierce competitive streak” and candor. “I just trust the guy,” he said in an interview Thursday. Kelleher, 61, was Morgan Stanley’s chief financial officer during the crisis, when he helped pull it back from the brink — by shrinking its balance sheet, negotiating a $9 billion lifeline from Japan’s Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc.

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