Morgan Stanley Chief Executive Philip Purcell announced his retirement on Monday, answering to repeated calls for his ouster from investors who have become disenchanted with the firm following a mass departure of key staff and an eroding share price, Reuters reports.

The move comes after nine equity derivatives employees on Friday joined more than 30 bankers and traders in leaving the investment bank, dealing a serious blow to its reputable equities unit.

Morgan Stanley also warned on Monday that it expects second-quarter earnings to fall short of Wall Street expectations, citing weakened market conditions, according to Reuters.

Purcell, 61, in a letter to the firm's employees, said he would retire as soon as a successor is named but no later than the firm's next annual meeting in March 2006, the report said. The board of trustees has already begun a search for a new chairman and chief executive.

"It has become clear to me, in light of the continuing personal attacks on me, and the unprecedented negative attention our firm - and each of you - has had to endure, that this is the best thing I can do," Purcell wrote.

The staff of Money Management Executive ("MME") has prepared these capsule summaries based on reports published by the news sources to which they are attributed. Those news sources are not associated with MME, and have not prepared, sponsored, endorsed, or approved these summaries.

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