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Morgan Stanley execs earn US$10.5m in post-election rally

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Senior Morgan Stanley executives collectively earned about US$10.5 million over the past week by exercising options and selling shares, with most of them profiting from an election-fueled rally in bank stocks, according to securities filings.

[NEW YORK] Senior Morgan Stanley executives collectively earned about US$10.5 million over the past week by exercising options and selling shares, with most of them profiting from an election-fueled rally in bank stocks, according to securities filings.

The executives made the sales after shares of Morgan Stanley, which traded as low as US$22 in the last 12 months, reversed course to become the best performing of the six largest US banks so far this year, closing Monday at US$39.35.

Executives at other large US banks have not made similar trades, even after US bank stocks helped push the Dow to all-time highs after Republican president-elect Donald Trump's surprise victory.

Morgan Stanley Chief Executive James Gorman earned US$2.94 million as part of a transaction last Friday, according to a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday.

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Mr Gorman sold 200,000 shares at a price of US$37.70 and spent about US$4.6 million to exercise 200,000 options at US$22.98.

President Colm Kelleher netted US$3.3 million in transactions on Thursday. He exercised 222,713 options at US$22.98 and then sold 115,167 shares at US$37.92 a piece and 64,127 shares at US$38.71. Investment management head Dan Simkowitz also sold US$2.3 million worth of stock on Thursday.

Chief legal officer Eric Grossman earned 475,206 by exercising options and selling stock on Friday.

Chief financial officer Jonathan Pruzan was the only one of the five executives to take profits before the election results. He sold US$1.5 million worth of stock.

A Morgan Stanley spokesman declined to comment on the filings.

Shares of Morgan Stanley have soared 17 per cent since the close of trading before Mr Trump's victory, reaching their highest level in 16 months.

Mr Trump has sided with leading conservatives in calling for the repeal of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Financial Reform Act largely opposed by banks.

REUTERS

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