Profile

Neel

Associate, Equity Research

What was it like to have been an intern at Morgan Stanley?

I had no exposure to finance before I got here. You arrive on this huge sales floor. There are people yelling across the room, phones ringing off the hook, people shouting numbers. Your initial reaction is, “Wow, there’s a lot of stuff going on. How do I fit in here?” And I’d say as an intern it’s all about adjusting to something you’ve never seen before. But the best part of Morgan Stanley is the people that you work with and you work for. It’s a culture built around mentorship—everyone here feels a responsibility to mentor an intern or junior member. So that’s really comforting.

How would you describe your role to someone outside of the finance industry?

I work in the research division. Our job is to lead with interesting, out-of-consensus ideas, that we deliver to our clients—institutional investors, hedge fund managers, asset managers, you name it. We look for value and uncover key trends that could shape our industry in the long-term. In particular, I work on the Autos and Shared Mobility team. We develop an investment thesis on the companies within our industry and then make a case to our clients.

Can you describe your typical day?

First, I try to keep up with the news. We cover a global industry, so there could be news overnight that impacts our stocks immediately. Second is interacting with clients. You might get phone calls because a particular stock you cover is trading especially high or low and someone wants to know what’s going on. You might be asked to provide a deep dive on a specific company. Then I spend time formulating my views—what’s changed, what adjustments do I need to make in my models, are there any interesting developments. One thing our team tries to do every day is have these huddles where we flesh out the most abstract ideas. Put it on the whiteboard, talk it out, and then see how we could take that and present it to our clients.

What would you say is the end result of your work?

At the end of the day, our job is to make clients think. Our clients are very capable and very smart people. They can formulate their own thesis, but our job is to identify anything they might be missing or get them to consider something they haven’t yet thought of. We try to get everyone’s creative juices flowing.

What project has excited you most in your time at the firm?

Around the time I got here, we started to look in depth at alternative business models in mobility. Think Uber or Lyft. These companies seemingly came out of nowhere, but they’re a part of this trend called shared mobility, so we explored its potential impact on the auto industry. It’s challenging because there’s not much data out there and so you have to go out on a limb. You have to talk to as many people in the industry as possible to make sense of what’s happening. We ended up publishing an insights piece that said that these business models are going to change the landscape of mobility forever. You go from a model where everyone needs to own a car to one in which the vehicle is shared. That has huge implications for our industry. I found that very exciting.

What are your hobbies and interests outside of work?

At least once a year try to unplug and do some sort of adventurous trip, exploring other parts of the world and doing it in interesting ways. I try to be more on the adventurous side. I did a backpacking trip in South America for six weeks, meeting random people, staying in hostels, bouncing from one country to another. I stayed in the Amazon rainforest and went biking down a volcano. I did all sorts of really exciting things and met amazing people along the way.

What would you say is your favorite thing about Morgan Stanley culture?

Everything. Especially in Research, it’s a highly collaborative environment. We’re constantly challenged and pushed to work with our colleagues across divisions, but that yields extraordinary results. On a daily basis I work with several teams—internet, software, retail, financials, you name it. We also have a global team that spans all of the major markets. It’s quite powerful—you have over 50,000 people working for this company, all doing very different things. But the way we interact and leverage each other is phenomenal. That’s how our work comes together.

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