Like many financial world executives, Morgan Stanley chief executive James Gorman is in Davos, Switzerland this week for the World Economic Forum. But Gorman is eager to get back to the States, where he's planning to have a private dinner with one of his company's harshest media critics.
On Tuesday, he reached out to Fox Business anchor Charlie Gasparino, according to a source close to the network, after Gorman caught the famously combative Gasparino teasing him in a pre-Davos interview with JP Morgan chief Jamie Dimon, saying that, unlike Dimon, the Morgan Stanley CEO is too afraid to appear on the air.
"Gorman, you know, is a good guy, but he won't go before the cameras," Gasparino said. "Jamie did. He went before the cameras. We didn't have to submit questions beforehand. There was no time limit. We spent 25 minutes with him and he answered all sorts of questions."
The banking industry, of course, is a staple for the finance news networks in these times of economic distress. And Morgan Stanley, which was recently forced to cut pay for senior executives, has been one of Gasparino's favorite subjects. (Last fall, after Fox Business published an unflattering story about the firm, Gasparino said a Morgan Stanley publicist accidentally left him a voicemail saying she was "going to kill him one of these days.")
Jeanmarie McFadden, Morgan Stanley's global head of communications, would not confirm or deny the story to Yahoo News, saying she would never comment on conversations the CEO "may or may not have had." But McFadden pointed out that Gorman "very often has meals with reporters who cover him," including--at least once--Gasparino. (It may be worth noting that both Dimon and Gorman were spotted Thursday at a CNBC and Financial Times-hosted party in Davos.)
Whether this meal results in more flattering coverage of Morgan Stanley by Fox Business--or an eventual on-air appearance--remains to be seen. But publicists, we're told, are not invited.
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