Global Investor

Talent hunt

Meera Siva | Updated on January 24, 2018 Published on March 29, 2015

Wall Street banker Ruth Porat heads to Google

Ruth Porat, chief financial officer of Morgan Stanley and listed among Wall Street’s most powerful women, is joining Google as its CFO. Her pay package is a hefty $70 million for two years including base pay, stock grants, and joining bonus. Porat, 57, is widely regarded as a valuable talent to command such a high pay. She has been with Morgan Stanley for over 25 years and is credited with steering Morgan Stanley through the aftermath of the financial meltdown.

Go West

She is the latest addition to the list of Wall Street veterans who are heading to Silicon Valley. Anthony Noto, formerly with Goldman Sachs, became CFO of Twitter and Sarah Friar of Goldman Sachs is now CFO of Square.

Imran Khan, formerly with Credit Suisse, recently joined as the Chief Strategy Officer at Snapchat. So why are bankers making a beeline for tech companies? One reason for the talent drain is the tough regulatory environment.

The other is of course the attractive pay package –profitable tech companies can pay generously without having to face the ire of shareholders.

Good for investors

As much as investors love to hate investment bankers, this trend is a positive for tech company shareholders. After all, bankers can better understand what investors look for when assigning a value to the enterprise and may be able to allay investor concerns. Shareholders can hope for more discipline and focus from tech companies. Google, for instance, spends heavily on futuristic projects that range from driverless cars to medical research – segments quite removed from its primary business.

Google investors are also hopeful of getting some immediate payoffs by way of dividend or share buy backs. The search giant is sitting on a burgeoning cash pile - over $67 billion, according to data from Bloomberg.

Published on March 29, 2015
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