TREND WATCH: James Gorman and Eric Daniels are letting it be known that life is about more than just money

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Today’s survey by the British Association of Graduate Recruiters confirms the perennial truth: graduates who go into banking earn more than graduates who go into anything else - £38.3k in the first year versus an average of £26k elsewhere.

Nevertheless, if you have gone into investment banking for the money, you may have made a grave mistake. Especially if you have gone into Morgan Stanley.

As has been widely broadcast, Morgan Stanley has increased its deferrals and capped cash bonuses at $125k this year. Both moves are apparently causing disconcertment among its employees. So much so, that James Gorman felt the need to have a few words yesterday.

The gospel of Gorman:

In a Bloomberg interview, Gorman said he’d tell these disgruntled bankers: “You’re naive, read the newspaper, No. 1. No. 2, if you put your compensation in a one-year context to define your overall level of happiness, you have a problem which is much bigger than the job. And No. 3, if you’re really unhappy, just leave. I mean, life’s too short."

This could just be a one off, attributed to Gorman putting his employees back into their boxes before making them redundant. Except a similar sentiment surrounds Eric Daniels, the former chief executive of Lloyds.

Daniels seeks joy:

The Times reports today that Daniels if off to join Stormharbour, where he hopes to rediscover 'joy'.

Daniels himself doesn’t disparage earning lots of money, but Antonio Cacorino, the managing principal and co-founder of StormHarbour, attributes such sentiments to him by association.

“Money is never the driver [for the people we take on],” Antonio Cacorino tells The Times. “We don’t work on guarantees [bonuses] — our salaries are about close to one third those of the industry. It is going back to the roots of the old Wall Street and the good old merchant banking style. I was raised and trained in a very different way from the way associates are trained today when they go into the financial markets. It should not be what they do in the job but how they do it.”

Actually, neither Daniels nor Gorman are much in need of money. Gorman will earn a $10.5m bonus this year. Daniels received a £1.45m bonus last year, of which 50% could yet be clawed back.

As Morgan Stanley employees have pointed out, Gorman’s multi-year perspective probably doesn’t extend to employee performance: “When I lost a big nut on the desk at MS I told Gorman not to let my performance in a one-year context to define the firm's overall level of happiness with me. That was right before the security guard pulled me off the desk and threw me out of the building,” suggests one.

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