Make some time today for Jessica Pressler‘s profile of the now-retired John Mack – the man who “saved” Morgan Stanley – in New York Magazine.
He may not be the chairman or CEO of a major Wall Street bank anymore, but he’s still very much in the game…
John Mack retired earlier this year, but you won’t find him whiling away his days on the golf course. “I hate golf,” the 67-year-old former Morgan Stanley CEO says on a recent evening at Loi, a Greek restaurant on the Upper West Side. “Golf is only fun if you’re squeezing it in.” As he speaks, his iPhone buzzes. “I’m sorry, m’dear,” he says in his North Carolina drawl, reaching a Rolex-heavy hand into his pocket and silencing a text. Mack has just come from the office, and in a little over an hour, he is scheduled to meet a former colleague to talk business over the restaurant’s famous grape leaves. Mack is of Lebanese descent and has thick dark eyebrows whose tendrils act like a barometer of his moods. “Even though I’m retired, I’m very active,” he explains, tucking the phone back in his pocket.
This is something of an understatement. Like any titan emeritus, Mack has his hand in several nonprofits, including New York–Presbyterian Hospital, where as chairman of the board he presides over a Who’s Who of ex-CEOs of Too Big to Fail institutions, among them Sandy Weill (Citigroup), Hank Greenberg (AIG), and Richard Fuld (Lehman Brothers). Mack fits neatly into this crowd. But unlike his fellow board members, the man the Wall Street Journal once called “Mr. Morgan Stanley” has emerged with his reputation not only unscathed but burnished.