Morgan Stanley’s revisionist history…

When Morgan Stanley (MS) filed its proxy statement on March 25, it noted that its Chief Administrative Officer, Thomas Nides, received $73,950 to cover the cost of his commute between Washington D.C. and the company’s offices in New York City, plus another $58,595 to cover the tax bill on that travel, which I wrote about here for Perkswatch.

Since then, Morgan Stanley has made 8 separate amendments to its 2009 proxy to change various minor things, like adding a letter from John Mack and providing additional details about its compensation structure. And while I don’t know if this is a record, 8 amendments in less than a month seems like it ought to be. At the very least, it’s an endurance test for Morgan’s attorneys.

Still, it was that eighth amendment filed yesterday that caught my attention. Just one sentence long, it noted that Nides had notified the company on Dec. 1 that he would no longer accept the tax gross-up on the commuting costs. That’s good news, but it also begs the question: why did it take until April 14 and 8 amendments to notify shareholders of something that happened back on Dec. 1. Was it really that much of an afterthought?