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Morgan Stanley CEO says he got it wrong about back-to-office push

Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman rescinded an edict that employees should be back in the office now and released a new forecast for how long companies would delay return.

“I was wrong about that,” he told CNBC’s Wilfred Frost on Monday on “Closing Bell.” “I thought we would be out of there after Labor Day and we’re not.”

In June, Gorman told conference attendees he would be “very disappointed” if his workers had not returned to Morgan Stanley buildings before Labor Day. These plans, widely covered by the media, were derailed in part by the discovery of the omicron Covid variant. Companies from Lyft to Ford have had to delay and reassess their plans to return to the office in recent weeks.

“I think we’ll still be here for most of next year,” Gorman said. “Everyone keeps finding their way and you get the omicron variant; who knows, we’ll have pi, we’ll have theta and epsilon, and eventually we’ll run out of letters of the alphabet. This continues to be a problem. “

Still, more than half of Morgan Stanley’s employees have returned to the company’s New York headquarters, which houses the bank’s business operations, Gorman said. About 65% of the vaccinated employees returned to this building and 95% of the employees received the vaccine, he said.


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