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Morgan Stanley co-president Andy Saperstein, who was until last month a leading contender to be the Wall Street bank’s next chief executive, told employees on Tuesday that he had been diagnosed with cancer.
“Last week I received some very surprising news . . . I was diagnosed with cancer. As you can imagine this has been quite a shock to me,” Saperstein, 56, wrote in an internal memo.
Saperstein said that he was “young and in otherwise good health”, which gave him confidence as he begins treatment.
“While my travel may be limited during the period of my treatment, I plan to continue working to make sure Morgan Stanley remains on our great path forward,” he added.
The news of Saperstein’s diagnosis comes just weeks after Morgan Stanley announced its succession plan for longtime chief executive James Gorman.
Saperstein, who runs Morgan Stanley’s wealth management division, was one of three leading internal candidates for the top job but it ultimately went to his fellow co-president Ted Pick.
Saperstein has agreed to remain at Morgan Stanley under Pick and will also oversee the bank’s investment management business, alongside his role running wealth management. He will also remain as co-president alongside Dan Simkowitz, who was the other leading internal candidate for the chief executive job.
The succession process was unusually smooth by Wall Street standards.
The wealth management division that Saperstein runs has been a critical growth driver for Morgan Stanley in recent years, with the business now overseeing almost $5tn in client assets. The success of this traditionally stable business has complemented the bank’s more volatile investment and trading operations, and helped it open up a valuation gap to longtime rival Goldman Sachs.
Source: Financial Times