CII Opens Dialogue With A Fractured Morgan Stanley

April 13, 2005 ( - The Council of Institutional Investors has decided to open a dialogue with Morgan Stanley regarding the financial firm's recent management struggles.

The increasingly activist group of private and public pension plans – with $3 trillion in total assets – has decided to arrange a call with the company’s CEO, directors and dissidents for a briefing on the proposed strategies for managing Morgan Stanley. The call could lead the  Council  to recommending a course of action, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The pension group is increasingly vocal, possibly as a result of its recent shift towards a board that is dominated by organized labor and public-pension officials with close ties to labor, the Journal reported.

Morgan Stanley indicated that it was open to the interest from the Council, with a spokeswoman stating that the company is “always willing to listen and be responsive to concerns of our shareholders.”

Morgan Stanley has recently been rocked by a serious of high-profile departures and calls for the resignation of CEO Philip Purcell, with dissidents saying a recent management shake up he engineered was not in the best interests of the company. Purcell said on Tuesday that he was replacing President Stephan Newhouse with two co-presidents, Morgan Stanley veterans Stephen Crawford and Zoe Cruz.

A group of major shareholders has also weighed in, saying that Purcell is the reason for lagging stock prices and poor financial performance.