A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from October 05, 2009
Jurassic Park (Morgan Stanley office for its older bankers)

The financial firm of Morgan Stanley moved its “dinosaur” investment banking partners to a floor in a building at 1221 Avenue of the Americas in New York City, a few blocks from Morgan Stanley’s midtown office. The floor was dubbed “Jurassic Park,” after the 1990 dinosaur novel (and 1997 film).

As in the novel and movie Jurassic Park, the executives banished there did manage to come back to life and bite the company. This corporate revolt is described in the book Blue Blood and Mutiny: The Fight for the Soul of Morgan Stanley (2007) by Patricia Beard.

Wikipedia: Morgan Stanley
Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) is a global financial services provider headquartered in New York City, New York, United States. It serves a diversified group of corporations, governments, financial institutions, and individuals. Morgan Stanley also operates in 33 countries around the world with 600 offices, with an approximate employee workforce of 45,000. The company reports US$779 billion as assets under its management. It is headquartered in Midtown Manhattan, New York City.

The corporation, formed by J.P. Morgan & Co. employees Henry S. Morgan (grandson of J.P. Morgan), Harold Stanley and others, came into existence on September 16, 1935. In its first year the company operated with a 24% market share (US$1.1 billion) in public offerings and private placements. The main areas of business for the firm today are Global Wealth Management, Institutional Securities and Investment Management.

The company found itself in the midst of a management crisis in the late 1990s that saw it lose a lot of talent and competence and ultimately saw the firing of its then CEO Philip Purcell in 2005.

On September 21, 2008, it was reported that the Federal Reserve allowed Morgan Stanley to change its status from investment bank to bank holding company. On September 29, 2008, it was announced that Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Japan’s largest bank, will take a stake of $9 billion in Morgan Stanley equity. In the midst of the October 2008 stock market crash, concerns over the completion of the Mitsubishi deal caused a dramatic fall in Morgan Stanley’s stock price to levels last seen in 1994. The stock grew considerably after Mitsubishi UFJ closed the deal to buy 21% of Morgan Stanley on October 14, 2008.

Wikipedia: Jurassic Park
Jurassic Park is a 1990 science fiction novel written by Michael Crichton. Often considered a cautionary tale on unconsidered biological tinkering in the same spirit as Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, it uses the mathematical concept of chaos theory and its philosophical implications to explain the collapse of an amusement park showcasing certain genetically recreated species. It was adapted into a blockbuster film in 1993 by director Steven Spielberg that won 3 Oscars, 19 other awards, and 15 nominations. The book’s sequel, The Lost World (1995), was also adapted by Spielberg into a film in 1997.

Fortune magazine
Brahmins at the Gate
When Morgan Stanley choked on its own merger, the ugliest civil war in recent Wall Street history broke out. Now the old guard is on the march. A dispatch from behind the lines.

May 2, 2005
(FORTUNE Magazine) – At Morgan Stanley they have a nickname for the floor of the Midtown Manhattan skyscraper where investment bankers are given offices when they retire: Jurassic Park. It used to fit pretty well. This was a place where you could catch a glimpse of the dinosaurs who once stood atop the Wall Street food chain, men like S. Parker Gilbert, whose stepfather co-founded the firm in 1935, and Anson Beard Jr., who built its sales and trading operation into a legendary moneymaking machine.

Today, of course, the nickname fits even better. As in the novel and the movie, the dinosaurs have broken loose, they are making lots of noise, and they are out for blood.

Google Books
The Accidental Investment Banker:
Inside the decade that transformed Wall Street

By Jonathan A. Knee
New York, NY: Oxford University Press
Pp. ix:
Even Fisher’s office had been moved first off the main executive floor andthen out of the building altogether, quietly banished to a place known internally as Jurassic Park—where retired senior bankers were given cubicles and secretarial support.

Among the throngs at the service were a distinguished group of seven fellow inhabitants of Jurassic Park, including Fisher’s predecessor as chairman, S. Park Gilbert. Most of these men had grown up with Fisher in the Morgan Stanley of the 1960s. Looking around the crowded church they could not help but ponder just how much had changed since that time.

Blue Blood and Mutiny:
The Fight for the Soul of Morgan Stanley

By Patricia Beard
New York, NY: Patricia Beard
Pg. 5:
Except for Bob Scott, none of the Eight hadd been employed at Morgan Stanley in the twenty-first century. The title “Advisory DIrector” was granted to certain senior executives when they retired, earning them the eminence and pathos innate in such words as emeritus. Even the offices the firm provided for them in an innocuous Midtown building a few blocks from Morgan Stanley headquarters were known as “Jurassic Park,” but they weren’t finished yet.
Pg. 107:
Eventually Purcell moved Fisher to “Jurassic Park,” 1221 Avenue of the Americas, and subdivided Fisher’s fortieth-floor office.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityBanking/Finance/Insurance • (0) Comments • Monday, October 05, 2009 • Permalink