How would you describe your role to someone outside of the finance industry?
I help advise executives and the boards of companies, specifically in the media and communications industries, on mergers and acquisitions—the possibilities of buying other businesses, selling their own business, or selling a piece of their business. As part of that, a conversation we typically have is: How do those companies go about structuring transactions and raising any necessary capital.
What’s a project that’s excited you in your time at Morgan Stanley?
I spend most of my time working with the communications industry, and so I’ve done a lot of work with wireless carriers. I helped what’s now one of the largest wireless carriers in the world do a merger and raise capital that they’ve used to expand their network. They had a real resurgence as one of the competitive carriers and are doing very well as a result.
What would you say is the end result of the work you do?
I think the most tangible example is helping to enable the significant investment that companies have made in wireless networks. Think of how much we use our mobile devices today, how much content we consume. We want to be connected at high speeds so that we can push videos and photos to whatever social media site we’re connected to—and that wasn’t possible even three or four years ago. All these technologies that allow us to always be connected, some of that’s made possible by capital investment banks helped raise.
How would you describe Morgan Stanley culture?
The firm made the decision a long time ago to put all incoming MBAs on the same floor, instead of different groups. They sit close to each other and you really get to know each other. That’s a very formative time. You get instilled with the culture, a culture of collegiality. If someone calls you for help, there’s an understanding that you’ll drop everything to support that person. What’s great is that after that, the MBAs go to different parts of the bank so you have this automatic network of people you can call on for support.
What are your hobbies and interests outside of work?
I was in the military, so two things have stayed with me from that. One is fitness. The good thing about New York is that there are always things going on—the Brooklyn Half Marathon this weekend. A lot of people at the firm share that interest, so there are always coworkers up for that. The other is an interest in foreign policy. It’s particularly interesting from a financial perspective because many of the transactions that we do are on a global scale and involve crossing borders. I also have a real interest in modern art so when I get a chance, I think it’s great to go to events where you have emerging artists trying to make a name for themselves.
What would you tell a junior or senior who isn’t sure if finance is for them about Morgan Stanley?
The level of access that we get to the top corporations around the world is really impressive. I think the opportunity to come in to a bank even at a junior level and be part of a small team of individuals who are relied upon to give strategic advice is, very enticing. You’re part of the brainstorming, you're part of crafting creative solutions. Being relied upon as the expert is pretty exciting for somebody who is just coming in. It’s certainly challenging at times—we work very hard—but what you’re able to learn in just a few years is incredible.