Morgan banker quits with no guarantee: Really?

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Bankers at Morgan Stanley should already be able to taste their bonuses. The investment bank typically announces staff bonuses in mid-December and pays them out in early January.

At this stage in the cycle, therefore, it seems odd that anyone would walk away without some compensation for the disappearing bonus as a result. But the Financial Times says this is precisely what Michael Tory, head of UK investment banking at Morgan Stanley, has done.

Tory is joining Lehman Brothers, where he'll sit on the European management committee. The FT reports that Lehman lured him without dangling a guaranteed bonus. We have our doubts: even given Lehman's rise on European M&A league tables, it would surely take a little more than kind words to entice a bigwig like Tory aboard without a financial sweetener.

And if he really did walk away from a whole year's bonus with nothing in return, what does that say about Morgan Stanley retaining its other senior staff after bonuses are paid? What do you think? Was there a guarantee or some other sign-on? And will Morgan Stanley suffer a mass exodus come January? Let us know what you think.

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