It's the "Culture Thing"

I've continued to think and read about mergers and marriages, and then this morning a client sent me this quote from the New York Times:

"On Wall Street, a world dominated by multibillion-dollar deals, seven-figure bonuses and exotic financial products like weather derivatives, the success of a firm might just rest on the most intangible and least financial element of all: culture."

Mr. Purcell resigned yesterday from Morgan Stanley—that "culture thing" seems to have got in his way. In 1997, he merged Dean Witter with Morgan Stanley. The NYT article says, "They were like oil and water, and in the end, Mr. Purcell just could not blend the two."

Along with the culture problem, I am not so sure that Morgan Stanley has been able to distinguish themselves in the financial market. They tried to serve everyone, and now they appear not to be serving anyone well, including the culture.

What's your take?