Morgan Stanley Chief Operating Officer Jon Pruzan, a longtime lieutenant to James Gorman and once considered a potential candidate to succeed him as chief executive officer, is exiting the firm.

Pruzan, who’s leaving at the end of the month, departs after a 28-year run that included a six-year stint as chief financial officer — the public face of the firm to investors and analysts. The 54-year-old plans to pursue other opportunities, according to Gorman.

“He has been a trusted adviser to me for many years,” Gorman said in a message to staff Monday. Pruzan “has had a seat at the table and a voice in the decision-making process for many of the key decisions that the firm has made over the past decade.”

His departure further narrows the list of potential successors to Gorman — a group that took shape with a major management shuffle in 2021, when four senior leaders were given new roles as they competed for the top spot. With Pruzan’s exit, that list has been whittled down to Ted Pick and Andy Saperstein, the New York-based firm’s co-presidents and CEO front-runners. Dan Simkowitz, the investment-management chief, is also in the running.

Gorman has been CEO since January 2010, a 13-year run in which the bank recovered from near calamity during the financial crisis, transforming itself into a business relying on the twin engines of the investment bank and wealth management.

At the time of the 2021 reorganization, Gorman told the Morgan Stanley board he wanted to remain CEO for at least three years.

Pruzan played a key role in the company’s recent acquisitions, some of the biggest for a US bank since the crisis, including those of E*Trade and Eaton Vance.

The long-time investment banker was tapped for the CFO role in 2015, when Ruth Porat departed that role for a similar one at Google, now part of Alphabet Inc. Pruzan attended Horace Mann School and Tufts University before joining Paine Webber in 1990.

A native New Yorker, he once wanted to start a restaurant, worked as line cook and managed a diner while in college. But over the last three decades, he’s played his part in making the Pruzan name well known on Wall Street. His brother Michael was a banker at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and another brother, Robert Pruzan, is the co-founder of Centerview Partners, which was started in 2006.

This article was provided by Bloomberg News.