Morgan Stanley tech analyst Mary Meeker is leaving her post as one of Wall Street’s top internet observers to join VC firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers as a partner. Known for her detailed slideshows at industry conferences, Meeker was also often sought out for her views on Google (NSDQ: GOOG), Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN), eBay (NSDQ: EBAY), Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO), Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) and other major digital companies.
Meeker will be based in Silicon Valley, though she’ll be expected to maintain a presence in New York and Asia. Before coming to Morgan Stanley in 1991, Meeker served as a technology research analyst at Cowen and at Salomon Brothers.
While Meeker cultivated a high profile through her reports and appearances at industry events, the FT questions how much of that influence actually translated into actual financial benefits for the firm. After all, the internet IPO market for most of her tenure has been fairly low and quiet. Until this year, at least. And with some major IPOs expected to come down the pike, if Morgan Stanley is shut of those bids, it could be because it lost one of the space’s most popular analysts.
As for Kleiner Perkins, Meeker’s place on the roster will round out a stable of internet all-stars, such as partner John Doerr.Her hire comes a month after Kleiner Perkins started a new $250 million fund dedicated to investing in social-related startups. The venture capital firm is being joined in the effort by Amazon.com, Facebook, Zynga, Comcast (NSDQ: CMCSA), Liberty Media (NSDQ: LINTA), and Allen & Co., all of whom are investing in the fund and acting as “strategic partners” and will be led by Kleiner Perkins partner Bing Gordon. Release