• Diversity

Dreaming of a Global View and Finding Opportunity in Finance

Sully Vinas, an Executive Director in Bank Resource Management, helps monitor the global flow of Morgan Stanley’s capital.

Growing up in New York City, Sully Vinas dreamed of seeing the world. She never imagined that it would be through the lens of finance.

Her immigrant parents wanted her to stay close to home. But bouncing between the streets of Harlem and summer trips to see family in the Dominican Republic, Vinas yearned for somewhere else—something more.

College was her chance to explore. “I wanted a global perspective, and I wanted to see the world,” she says, recalling her decision to become the first in her family to leave home for college. SUNY-New Paltz in upstate New York wasn’t that far away, but enough of a distance from her parents to upset them. “They weren’t thrilled and it is unusual for my culture” she says.

Vinas pressed on. “Call it stubborn, call it persistent, call it whatever you want,” she says. Her college years helped her develop resilience and confidence, something that even her parents came to recognize and embrace.

Talent & Mobility

After graduation, armed with a degree in mathematics, Vinas found herself back in New York, working as a consultant at Morgan Stanley, and suddenly found the world coming to her. “The great thing about working at a firm like this—you get to meet people from all over the world. You learn about how many people, corporations and organizations are tied together by the market,” she says.

Vinas also finds that the firm values talent and believes in mobility. She began her career working on legal documentation for hedge fund clients of the firm’s Prime Brokerage business, but quickly moved into other areas within business unit risk management within the Institutional Equity Division.

“I loved problem-solving and wasn’t intimidated by the numbers,” she says. “Talent is recognized, and management is invested in figuring out how you can grow and where you can do your best work.”

Culture of Teamwork

Now, 10 years later, having spent her entire career at Morgan Stanley, Vinas is an Executive Director in Bank Resource Management, sometimes referred to as the engine room of the firm. She and her team help manage risk through the use of a comprehensive and flexible framework of policy setting, risk identification and controls—all as a means of protecting the firm and its clients from myriad risks.

“I always come across complicated problems,” she says. “I love the challenge of solving them. I can do this every day.”

Dedication and sometimes long hours are par for the course, counterbalanced by engaging assignments and a strong sense of camaraderie on the team. They take turns recommending places to eat, often reflecting the cuisines of their diverse cultural backgrounds. “One night, it’ll be a Chinese dumpling place; another night, we’ll have American comfort food.” More recently, they ended up at a Dominican restaurant suggested by Vinas.

“Some of my best moments have been as part of this firm,” she says. “We’re a global family here.”

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