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Gary Lynch Leaves: The Un-Macking of Morgan Stanley

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Duke University

Morgan Stanley Vice Chairman and former Chief Legal Officer Gary Lynch is leaving the firm to pursue "other opportunities."

It's one of the iron rules of Wall Street: nobody ever really leaves to pursue "other opportunities."

If those other opportunities exist, you hear about a guy leaving by learning that he's got a new position. When someone leaves to pursue "other opportunities" it usually means that he's leaving earlier than planned. And that usually means one of three things:

Maybe he was forced out.

Maybe he's just mad as hell and couldn't take it any more.

Maybe there's a scandal brewing.

The first thing you need to know about Lynch is that he's John Mack's guy. When Mack ran Credit Suisse , he hired Lynch away from the law firm Davis Polk. When Mack took over at Morgan Stanley, he brought Lynch along with him.

But with Mack moved out of the corner office, Lynch lost his status. Soon after James Gorman took over as chief executives, it was announced that Lynch would be stepping down as chief legal officer. Lynch was shipped off to London and given the title "Vice Chairman."

So what just happened to lead to Lynch leaving? You can bet that's a question that will lead to a lot of speculation over Friday night cocktails.

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