Wall Street's succession summer

Wall Street's succession summer
Brian Cox as Logan Roy on "Succession."Macall Polay/HBO

Good morning! It's Kaja Whitehouse signing in from New York City, where we don't yet have ramen made with an ugly sea creature related to woodlice. (More on that later.) I'm filling in for Dan DeFrancesco, who will return after a much-deserved break tomorrow.


Today, we will discuss JPMorgan's First Republic layoffs, the real reason powerful people want "superyachts," and Vlad Tenev's reversal of Robinhood's remote work policy.

But first, it's the summer of succession — and no, we're not talking about the TV show.

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1. Survival of the fittest.

Wall Street CEOs pretend that succession planning is another chore, like hashing out the annual budget or organizing an earnings call. But behind the boring press announcing their succession plans is often a story of intrigue and drama.

This year, the succession stories are piling up.

Last week, boutique bank Lazard tapped Peter Orszag (a one-time Obama advisor and Beltway sex symbol) to replace Kenneth Jacobs as CEO after weeks of complaints over the bank's recent layoffs and sagging stock price.

Meanwhile, speculation over who will replace James Gorman at Morgan Stanley continues.


Gorman, 64, told shareholders earlier this month that he would relinquish his CEO title in the next 12 months. The bank's board, he said, has "three very strong senior internal candidates" in mind to replace him.

That has set off an endless parade of speculation and stories about which of the three candidates — believed to be Ted Pick, Andy Saperstein, and Dan Simkowitz — will take the throne.

And then, of course, there's Jamie Dimon, Wall Street's longest-serving CEO. Questions about who might replace him have swirled for years, given his tenure, power, and multiple health scares. The bank recently said COO Daniel Pinto would step in as sole CEO in case of an emergency. But Dimon was vague when asked for more details at the bank's investor day on May 22.

For more on this summer's succession intrigue, Insider has you covered. Click here for what Dimon says are the top traits in a successor; 5 fascinating facts about Lazard's new CEO here, and how two of the frontrunners in line for Gorman's job couldn't be more different.

In other news:


Wall Street's succession summer
Robinhood co-founders Baiju Bhatt (left) and Vlad Tenev.Spencer Platt/Getty Images

2. Sorry for the confusion; now get back to your desks! Online brokerage Robinhood is backtracking on its pledge to be a "remote-first company," according to leaked Slack messages obtained by Insider. "I've seen it firsthand — there is value in us being together," Robinhood CEO Vladimir Tenev wrote to employees via Slack last week. You can read more on Vlad's 180 here.

3. Remember when Jamie Dimon saved First Republic Bank? The feeling of relief didn't last long for some 1,000 employees who were told last week that they wouldn't be among the 85% who got offers to stay, Insider's Emmalyse Brownstein reports.

4. A bad succession drama. As we recently agreed, succession dramas are usually awesome. Apparently, ChatGPT never got that message. Read more about the bot's "garbage" and "insulting" finale script for the popular TV series "Succession."

5. You can hide out here — on my superyacht. Megayachts are symbols of wealth and luxury, but that may not be the only reason rich people love them. They are also notoriously good at keeping secrets, according to this report.


6. Paris Hilton wants to help you shop. The hotel heiress is one of the investors behind Checkmate, a savings app and web browser extension that scraps emails to push promotions and deals to users at the right time. See the pitch deck here.

7. Professional stock pickers. Earlier this week, Insider highlighted 17 young analysts poised to shine. We also asked them about the stocks they consider winners and why. Here is what they said.

8. Summer can wait. You are probably super psyched about the summer ahead if you just graduated from college. But there is one small thing you need to do first: Consolidate those loans. Here's our guide.

9. The best airline. Apparently there is one. You can find it here.

10. To eat or not to eat? That is the question you will ask yourself after you catch a glimpse of the horrid-looking sea creature used to flavor this ramen dish. But if it tastes like lobster and crab when steamed, I might fork over the $48 this shop charges per bowl.


Curated by Kaja Whitehouse in New York. Feedback or tips? Email kwhitehouse@insider.com. Edited by Jeffrey Cane (tweet @jeffrey_cane) in New York and Hallam Bullock (tweet @hallam_bullock) in London.