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OPINION

Macaskill on markets: Forese vs Kelleher – the final scorecard

Citigroup president Jamie Forese and his Morgan Stanley counterpart, Colm Kelleher, are bowing out after contrasting quarters for their investment banks.

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Forese and Kelleher both made, arguably, more substantive contributions to the post-crisis recoveries of their two banks than their bosses Michael Corbat, chief executive at Citigroup, and James Gorman, Morgan Stanley’s CEO.

They also inspired more personal loyalty than their superiors, who are widely viewed as aloof and suffer from comparison with JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon, the undisputed top Wall Street chief executive.

Forese and Kelleher have kept their firms within striking distance of JPMorgan, which has developed the leading global investment banking franchise since the 2008 crisis. 

Forese is a former Salomon Brothers bond trader who turned Citi into the only bank that can compete with JPMorgan for the top spot in fixed income revenue.

Kelleher started out in debt sales before rotating through multiple business groups, where he helped to ensure that Morgan Stanley is today number one for equities revenue and has a fixed income group that is less prone to mishaps than it was in the past.

Edging past

Both men announced that they are retiring from the number two roles at their banks during the first quarter, meaning that recent earnings results provide a final scorecard for their efforts.