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Rob Parson at Morgan Stanley

The key issue at hand is the difference between the culture that is currently instilled at Morgan Stanley, and the opposing personality that Rob Parson brings as a senior executive. President John Mack has created a vision plan for the company that puts the franchise above the individual at all times. We would like to maximize business, but we would not like to maximize it at the expense of our culture, teamwork, and the integrity of the process. Rob Parson is viewed by his colleagues as a very strong contributor who at times lacks the proper concern for company values. Rob himself noted that he did not feel like a good fit with Morgan Stanley, but Paul Nasr made the decision to hire him anyways based purely on past performance. President Mack had recently asked to find people that would, shake up the culture and they definitely found it in Rob Parson, unfortunately I dont believe Rob was given a realistic preview of his job expectations by the hiring manager. Morgan Stanley has an organizational culture representative of a market/hierarchy, compared to the smaller financial institution Parson previously worked at that functioned more similarly to a pure market framework. Nasr did not put enough emphasis on the adjustment that would need to occur in Parsons management style to become a fit with the company culture. He was hesitant to provide critical feedback to Parson regarding his abrasive and volatile methods in fear that Parson would leave the firm. This in turn led to no change occurring throughout the entire year and a difficult decision for Nasr to make during year end evaluations. How can senior management expect employees to change their behavior to match their environment when the companys hiring process and ongoing feedback process doesnt support it?

The promotion of Rob Parson to managing director would be a difficult decision as he does exhibit many admirable qualities, but at the same time maintains a personality that is not a culture fit to the company. As a Principal he did meet and exceed the requirements in terms of production, increasing market share from 2% to 12% in one year. It is notable that many have tried to reach these numbers in the past and failed. He is adept at establishing deep relationships with clients and uncovering unknown needs of businesses through conversation which results in revenue that would have been missed. The position does require an aggressive person and no downward feedback has been given to modify this behavior. There is no doubt that Rob Parson has provided a substantial benefit to the company from a bottom line perspective. The difficulty I see in promoting Rob Parson is within the message it would send throughout the company, that someone who does not follow the values and culture of the firm can achieve one of the highest positions within that same firm. In order for a company culture to exist it needs to be fostered from the top down, starting with the CEO and branching out from the executive level all the way down to entry level positions. Only then can you achieve an environment where those espoused values actually become enacted values. If Morgan Stanley wishes to maintain their current mission statement of creating an environment that fosters teamwork and innovation by treating each other with dignity and respect, Rob Parson would not be the best choice for managing director. He needs time to develop, make the necessary adjustments to align with corporate culture, and work on obtaining the trust and approval of his colleagues.

The next feedback session between Paul Nasr and Rob Parson should be focused on goal setting. How can Parson position himself to more accurately reflect what a senior executive at Morgan

Stanley should embody in terms of values and actions? The goals created should be specific, measurable, attainable, results-oriented, and time bound. I would begin by giving motivational feedback regarding Parsons contribution in significantly growing the capital markets division in the past year. This would be followed with instructional feedback regarding the behavioral modifications that need to occur to progress to the next level. Since reward systems are a key motivator in employee performance I would adjust Parsons compensation model to include a percentage that is linked directly to the results of his 360 reviews. This in turn would hopefully motivate Parson to take more of a vested interest in his partners within the firm. Lastly, I would make Parson aware that my feedback would be completely direct and honest this time around to avoid any type of confusion come next performance evaluation.