The group of former
investment bankers who want to oust Phil Purcell have finally laid their cards on the table.
After a week of railing against the CEO in full-page newspaper ads in
The Wall Street Journal
and on television, the disaffected bankers are demanding that Morgan Stanley's board replace Purcell with one of their own: Robert Scott, a former Morgan Stanley executive.
Scott, one of the eight former bankers to sign the anti-Purcell ads in the
, is a longtime Morgan Stanley banker, who briefly served as president under Purcell in 2003. Scott left the firm after being pushed aside by Purcell.
The demand is the latest twist in the running soap opera at the big Wall Street investment firm and comes one day after Morgan Stanley's board decided to spin off the firm's Discover credit card business. The move was something of an about face, given Purcell's opposition to either selling or spinning off the credit card business.
In a spinoff, the current shareholders of Morgan Stanley would receive shares in Discover, which would operate as a separate and independent business.
Discover was one of the centerpieces of the old Dean Witter, which merged with Morgan Stanley in 1997. Purcell was the chief executive of Dean Witter at the time.