Morgan Stanley to Overhaul Pay Plan

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Published in The Wall Street Journal, December 29, 2009 by Aaron Lucchetti 

Morgan Stanley is poised to overhaul the way it pays its most senior executives, deferring more of their compensation over time and benchmarking their pay against rival firms, according to people familiar with the matter.
But the investment bank may stop short of the approach taken by Goldman Sachs Group Inc., which said its top executives would receive only stock for 2009 bonuses. Senior Morgan Stanley executives may receive about one quarter of their 2009 pay in cash, with the rest coming as deferred stock, one of the people familiar with the matter said. In recent years many received more of their pay in cash.
Wall Street pay has become a fraught issue for firms such as Morgan Stanley, whose top executives have conceded they may have failed without emergency government support in late 2008. With trading and banking profits now improving, Wall Street is trying to calibrate pay to minimize outside criticism and yet still keep employees and executives happy.

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