More than a few Morgan Stanley employees are reportedly fuming about the firm's lavish going away party for departing chairman John Mack in light of its sagging stock price and smaller - or for some employees - no bonus checks this year.
According to a Fox Business report, Morgan Stanley threw a swanky bash at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Temple of Dendur. In order for a corporation to be able to rent out the temple once a year, they have to pay an up-front fee of $60,000. If they want to host a two-hour reception at the ancient Egyptian-themed exhibit, a firm would have to pay an additional $38,000, Fox said.
Fox Business points out the firm's stock price is down some 40 percent since the company held its 75th anniversary party at the same expensive venue last year. But what makes this particularly galling is the network's report that chief executive James Gorman has been alerting some employees they may not be getting a bonus, and that the lucky few who do will see a substantially smaller payout than prior years.
At minimum, Morgan Stanley allocated nearly $100,000 to a celebration for someone who's on his way out the door at year's end. That total is mere chump change in the grand scheme of things for a firm of that stature, but in light of a tough year, those funds would have been better served being reinvested in its workers.
From Fox Business:
Mack is set to retire from the firm at the end of the year, ending a 40-year career on Wall Street. While all company employees were invited to witness the afternoon celebration, only a select number of former executives and friends of Mack were invited to the Temple bash. Among those invited: former senior executive Zoe Cruz, who Mack ousted from the firm following a massive trading loss just before the 2008 financial collapse.One former executive sums up the bitter feelings about the price tag rather nicely.
"Take a look at the stock price and tell me why they should be spending company money on this crap," one former senior executive told FOX Business.