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Morgan Stanley’s John Mack Interviewed by NYU Alumna Maria Bartiromo for Stern’s CEO Series

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On October 1, 2007 John Mack, Chairman and CEO of Morgan Stanley, addressed 450 Stern MBA and undergraduate students in Schimmel Auditorium as part of Stern’s “Meet the Chief Executive Series.” Interviewed by Maria Bartiromo, one of NYU’s own alumnae, and anchor of CNBC’s “Closing Bell with Maria Bartiromo”, Mr. Mack expressed his viewpoints on the US economy, the career opportunities for business school students and the skills required to move to the top of the organization.

Ms. Bartiromo began the conversation by asking Mr. Mack his views on the economic outlook for the US given the recent volatility. According to Mr. Mack, the US is witnessing a “de-coupling” of its economy from the rest of the world. Global markets are no longer as dependent on the US, and therefore will not be as affected by a possible slump in the US economy. He also sees tremendous growth opportunities in emerging markets such as China, Russia and Brazil. Morgan Stanley is already serving these markets, with plans to expand even further.

On whether the slumping economy will affect hiring at Morgan Stanley, Mr. Mack frankly said “yes,” but encouraged students to seek career opportunities that exist overseas, especially in countries with developing economies where there is a shortage of talent.

Mr. Mack also addressed the skills it takes to rise to the top. He considers having the confidence to speak up and challenge the status quo as one of the most important abilities needed to get ahead. Speaking of his own experience and success, Mr. Mack credited his ability early on in his career to know how and when to challenge his manager. As CEO, Mr. Mack expects and welcomes constructive feedback from his staff as it helps him to make the best decisions for the firm.

Maria Bartiromo opened the interview up to student questions at the end. The questions touched on topics such as Mr. Mack’s political views and Morgan Stanley’s growth strategy in emerging markets.

View the CEO Series with John Mack and Maria Bartiromo in its entirety.