Morgan Stanley CEO Gorman takes aim at quarterly reporting

Morgan Stanley Chairman and Chief Executive James Gorman speaks during the Institute of International Finance Annual Meeting in Washington October 10, 2014. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

(Reuters) - Morgan Stanley MS.N Chief Executive Officer James Gorman questioned the need for U.S. companies to report earnings every quarter, calling the practice "asinine."

“Why wouldn’t that power and information in an organization go into what’s best for clients rather than having to report again in another nine weeks?” Gorman said on Tuesday at a conference hosted by Bloomberg L.P. in New York.

“This is one thing the Brits definitely have figured out with six-month reporting,” he added, referring to a recent move to eliminate quarterly reporting requirements in the United Kingdom.

Gorman joins Wall Street leaders like BlackRock Inc BLK.N CEO Larry Fink and JPMorgan Chase & Co JPM.N CEO Jamie Dimon who have called on companies and investors to look past quarterly earnings and to encourage more long-term thinking.

A rise in shareholder activism over the past several years has created short-term pressure from investors seeking larger share repurchases, divestitures or other corporate action.

Morgan Stanley last week reported a better-than-expected profit in the third quarter, boosted by a surge in bond trading that helped all Wall Street banks.

Reporting by Olivia Oran in New York; Editing by David Gregorio and Lisa Shumaker