Morgan Stanley’s top international executive, Franck Petitgas, is retiring from the Wall Street bank after a 30-year career in capital markets and investment banking.
Petitgas — born in France and 61-years old — announced his decision internally on Monday, according to a memo from chief executive James Gorman seen by the Financial Times. However, he will remain a senior adviser to the bank and continue to represent it at events such as the World Economic Forum in Davos.
The memo, also sent by co-president Ted Pick, described Petitgas as “a world class professional” and a “trusted adviser to both of us as we navigate the complexities of a global business and client base”.
He joined Morgan Stanley in 1993 in New York and worked his way up to run the capital markets division, and ultimately oversaw all the bank’s businesses outside the US from London.
Petitgas was instrumental in building Morgan Stanley’s lucrative relationship with the world’s largest oil exporter, Saudi Aramco, which raised $25.6bn in the world’s biggest initial public offering in 2019, as well as listings for Swedish private equity firm EQT and France’s Antin Infrastructure Partners.
Other influential clients included Franco-Israeli billionaire Patrick Drahi and his Altice investment vehicle, which is the largest shareholder in UK telecoms company BT.
Once considered among a group of potential candidates to succeed Gorman as chief executive, several of Morgan Stanley’s top executives have left in recent years, including Colm Kelleher who went on to become chair of UBS. This year Gorman said he had no plans to step down soon.
Whilst retiring from his executive role, Petitgas hoped to work as a government adviser or take up a non-executive or board role, said a person familiar with his thinking.
Petitgas also had a profile outside of finance. He built a large art collection and is the owner of the historic Manor of Bosham, which includes hundreds of the moorings in the UK’s Chichester Harbour.
Buying the manor entitled him to the title Lord, which he referenced in his twitter handle, @boshammanor. Petitgas is also chair of the Tate foundation, a charitable trust, and has received the Légion d’honneur, France’s highest civil and military award.