Ruth Porat, Morgan Stanley’s Chief Financial Officer, will be leaving her post at the Wall Street firm and will take up the same position at Google Inc. In a memorandum sent to employees on Tuesday, the chief executive and chairman of Morgan Stanley, James Gorman said that the 57-year-old Ms. Porat will be succeeded as the finance chief by 46-year-old investment banker Jonathan Pruzan, who co-led the team that gives advice to financial service companies like banks. Mr. Gorman said that Ruth Porat had decided to go back to her Californian roots and further her career in Silicon Valley after serving 28 years at Morgan Stanley.
He said that they were deeply saddened by her departure. After growing up in California, Ms. Porat got her degree from Stanford University and also served as co-head of investment banking to technology firms in an earlier stint at Morgan Stanley. The past five years were spent by Ms. Porat at Morgan Stanely as finance chief and is now leaving the company after seeing it settled more than ever before, especially after the financial crisis. Working in her role as chief financial officer, Ms. Porat had worked alongside Mr. Gorman for shedding some of the company’s riskiest activities, shrinking its balance sheet and double-downing a wealth management division that can provide stable profits.
Her move is mimicking a path that has become quite well-worn. From junior workers to the top stars, the Wall Street executives have moved to Silicon Valley in the past few years as the potential of the financial services industry is dimmed due to new rules governing everything from compensation to risk-taking and capital, even though the industry had once been the ideal destination for the ambitious. During the 1990s, Ms. Porat aided in bringing internet and technology companies in the public eye.
Amazon, Ebay and Priceline were just some of their clients. Apart from that, Ms. Porat also worked at the initial public offering of Genworth Financial Inc., a unit of General Electric Co in 2004. Amidst the financial crisis, she also gave advice to Morgan Stanley about some very high profile assignments, which included the government takeovers of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. She also worked alongside the Federal Reserve for rescuing the American International Group. Two years ago, she almost left the investment bank when she was offered the role of deputy Treasury secretary, but she told the Obama Administration that she had no interest in it.
It was previously reported that she had declined after watching how Jacob Lew, the Treasury Secretary had been grilled during his Senate confirmation hearings. In the meanwhile, Google announced that Ms. Porat will assume her post as chief financial officer of the tech firm from May 26th. Earlier this month, the technology giant had reported that its finance chief, Patrick Pachette, who had been with the firm since 2008 would be retiring, but would stay on with the firm while it search for a replacement to fill his position.