Morgan Stanley Was “Driver” on Facebook’s Wild IPO Ride

In snaring the most coveted investment-banking assignment of the year, Morgan Stanley’s Michael Grimes insisted to a senior Facebook Inc. executive that he be the “single driver” of the company’s initial public offering, adding that if the deal soured, it would be his “throat to choke.”

Mr. Grimes’s audacious, successful pitch to minimize input from other underwriters put Morgan Stanley in a position to exert unusual control over the IPO and to scoop up a bigger share of its fees. But it also turned the veteran Silicon Valley investment banker and his firm into targets for criticism when Facebook’s IPO swiftly turned bad for many investors.

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