Gustavo Ballvé on October 10th, 2011
Banks, Corporate Governance, Corporate Strategy, Food for thought, Home

“Synergy”, “two powerful minds working in unison”, “cross-selling prowess”, “complementary skills” and so on: all that we try to achieve has to be checked against reality, especially when theory meets the real incentives and cultural aspects of a company. As we constantly repeat to ourselves, “culture eats strategy for breakfast”. This article from mid-September notes that the two co-heads of Morgan Stanley’s Institutional Securities Group (Corporate Finance, M&A, Sales & Trading – pretty much all that matters) can’t stand each other and, more importantly, that this personal dispute is disrupting “business as usual”. The account is amusing enough, but the Epicurean Dealmaker wrote a very interesting analysis of this particular dispute in light of the bigger picture of the natural conflict of interests inside an investment bank. We all love to pick on investment banking, but what Mr. Epicurean finds there can be applied almost anywhere else where such conflicts are, perhaps, less obvious. A somewhat related insight on leadership and teamwork can be found here.

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