Friday, 14 October 2011

WrinklesInTheMatrix: Francis Maude 1

There it is, right on the gov.uk website, Rt Hon Francis Maude MP, Cabinet Office minister, his biography, under Directorships:
His other jobs outside politics include non-executive director of ASDA Group, director at Salomon Brothers, and managing director of Morgan Stanley & Co.
Let's make sure we've got that right. Catechism:
Q What was Francis Maude's job at Morgan Stanley?
A He was managing director.

Q Who was managing director of Morgan Stanley?
A Francis Maude was.

Q Where was Francis Maude managing director?
A Morgan Stanley.
Now here's a wrinkle – there is no managing director of Morgan Stanley.

There might be a CEO or a COO but not a managing director, Americans don't have them, they don't figure in the corporate governance taxonomy.

Managing Director is a title they give, at least in investment banks, to the staff allowed to meet clients, it looks good on the business card, trumps the British usage of mere Director and opens doors at some of the more unwary prospective clients but it emphatically does not mean that the bearer has anything whatever to do with managing or directing the bank. Far too junior for that.

Managing Director is quite a common title, as the Wall Street Journal told us on 27 January 2011:
Morgan Stanley Names Fresh Class of Managing Directors
Morgan Stanley has appointed 232 managing directors, the highest total for the investment bank since 2007.

Morgan Stanley announced the list Thursday, a week after it posted a 35% increase in fourth-quarter profit amid revenue growth across its wealth-management, asset-management, and investment-banking businesses. The firm named 212 managing directors in December 2009, 133 for 2008 and 241 in 2007.
Any doubt about this, just ask Jeremy Heywood, our Cabinet Secretary-"elect" – according to the Annual Report and Accounts 2010-11 for the Cabinet Office, p.63, he was there, too, at Morgan Stanley, and he was just a managing director.

There's something of a pattern emerging. Do they have a problem round at the Cabinet Office, telling the truth and behaving responsibly? Something in the water perhaps?

4 comments:

Grumpy Old Tory said...

LOL, DMoss - it had always puzzled me how someone like Maude, whose disastrous electoral strategy has meant the country being held to ransom by a pestilential cabal of Lib-Dems, managed to soar to such heights at Morgan Stanley. Now I know. Thank.

David Moss said...

Quite agree Grumpy, it's reminiscent of that famous Conservative MP, isn't it, the brilliant novelist, Godfrey Bowman or whatever he's called.

SDG said...

Have just discovered your blog. It is very enjoyable and informative so congratulations.

In your pursuit of senior civil servants I offer you a quote from Professor G.W. Keeton ["The Passing of Parliament"] :

" The relentless growth in size and functions of the Department of State and the relatively high level in calibre of those who staff them, coupled with the steady decline in importance of and function of MPs, has led to a gradual transfer of power and influence from the floor of the House of Commons to the private rooms of permanent civil servants."

And that was written 60 years ago.

David Moss said...

SDG, thank you very much for the Keeton quote. Spectacularly apposite, please see top right.

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