Cultivating Culture at Morgan Stanley

Aug 23, 2023

Learn from Arian Clay-Sirop, Lindsay Tobia and Mark Reyes, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management leaders, as they share their insights on cultivating culture.

Key Takeaways

  • Celebrating the LGBT+ community, especially at Morgan Stanley, where diverse individuals are revered and an inclusive culture is cultivated.
  • Gather employee perspectives on culture—and on living life authentically in and outside of work.
  • We are proud to spotlight Wealth Management’s Arian Clay-Sirop, Mark Reyes and Lindsay Tobia, grateful for their contributions to a culture of openness and acceptance.

June has come and gone, but that doesn’t signal the end of celebrating the LGBT+ community, especially at Morgan Stanley, where diverse individuals are revered and an inclusive culture is cultivated.


To gather employee perspectives on this culture—and on living life authentically in and outside of work—we caught up with Arian Clay-Sirop, Mark Reyes and Lindsay Tobia shortly after the conclusion of Pride Month.


Arian, a Vice President in Field Marketing for Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, is not alone in feeling the month of June was “a race to fit in as many events as possible, not only for fun with family and peers but to volunteer and educate allies,” she says. Still, she found time to volunteer at The Garden Party, an annual celebration of Pride for all LGBT+ New Yorkers; attend celebrations in her hometown of Montclair, N.J.; and join Morgan Stanley-hosted celebrations for LGBT+ employees and allies in New York City before the Pride parade.


“Being a black queer woman with a multiracial family is not something I can easily hide,” says Arian, who chooses to live “out loud and proud,” advocating for herself and others, especially her colleagues. She’s a member of the Pride and Ally Network and sits on its Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Committee, which helps bring people together and make them feel more comfortable at work. She also volunteers her time to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and GLAAD, helping to serve, greet, clean and march at LGBT+ events.

I stand in my truth, and it's scary, yet powerful, to do so.
Vice President – Field Marketing

Last year, Arian joined the industry group OPEN Finance and began attending its large networking events, grateful to have joined an industry that “continues to improve” in supporting the LGBT+ community. She believes Morgan Stanley is at the forefront when it comes to employee benefits, such as adoption for same-sex couples and a suite of gender-affirmation benefits and resources.


Having worked in broadcast journalism, television and software, Arian is thrilled to have found her way to Morgan Stanley four years ago, landing a “niche job that brings me full circle” in helping Financial Advisors create personalized videos and expand their digital presence. She found immediate support by joining the Black and the LGBT+ Employee Networks. Getting involved helped her “increase my footprint within the firm and meet others who fully embrace me.”

Show Up and Be Visible

Lindsay, a Vice President on the Syndicate Team in Wealth Management, Investment Solutions, is also comfortable bringing her authentic self to work, thanks to “the path paved by LGBT+ colleagues before me who were courageous in standing up.” She realizes that diverse employees who work elsewhere aren’t fully embraced in the same way, which strengthens her “sense of duty to stand firm in the invitation to be me.”


She contributes to this sense of openness by “showing up” at community or employee-sponsored events and unapologetically talking about her life, no longer suppressing discussions of “weekends on the gay beach with my girlfriend.” In fact, “showing up and being visible” are two actions that permeate everything she does. Only once she started doing so was, she able to “create any impact for myself or others.”

I’ve been able to make connections across the firm and the industry, igniting the message that it’s okay to be you along the way.
Vice President - Investment Solutions

For Lindsay, Pride Month created a wealth of opportunities to show up and be visible, helping to create a unity around the world that is “uplifting, invigorating and reinforcing.” Throughout June, she participated in various events, including panel discussions, the firm’s Pride & Ally Network’s New York City Pride March brunch and many other events alongside LGTB+ colleagues and allies. “We acknowledged the achievements so far and the work that still needs to be done,” she says.


Lindsay is also a member of OPEN Finance and Co-Chair of its Community Service Committee, creating and maintaining relationships with non-profit organizations that focus on the betterment of the LGBT+ community, an experience she found to be “life-changing.”

Be an Ally

Lindsay encourages every employee to become an ally—someone who accepts and embraces social differences, taking the time to empathize with injustices and act to promote inclusivity and equality even beyond their own communities. “It can be as simple a gesture as creating space for others to be honest about who they’ve spent their weekend with or where,” she says. Arian agrees, noting that “being an ally is as simple as being accepting and open to having a conversation.”


For Mark, a Vice President of Business Development in Rochester, N.Y., “being an ally doesn’t mean you have to march in a gay pride parade. It’s about how you treat your neighbors who come from different backgrounds.”


Those in the LGBT+ community, he points out, “grow up feeling different from the majority of people, referring to a “tension of otherness.” Allies, he explains, might not fully understand what we go through but are empathetic to our experiences, treat us with dignity and respect, and aren’t afraid of speaking up for us if they overhear something that’s not right.” Mark is grateful to have several straight men from his childhood who “just have my back.”


To become a better ally, Arian encourages others to “create a safe space for LGBT+ colleagues and educate yourself through watching videos, reading articles and following advocates on social media. We need advocates more than ever.” 

I’m a better professional because I don’t have to mask a critical part of who I am.
Vice President - Business Development

Authenticity at Work

Mark worked at several financial services companies before coming to Morgan Stanley in 2021 and has never felt more accepted for who he is. “I've never had any qualms about mentioning my fiancé Mathew,” says Mark. “I no longer have to mask a crucial part of who I am. The culture has been phenomenally welcoming, and the firm’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is heard at all levels of leadership.”


After three years at Morgan Stanley, Mark now holds himself out as “a beacon for employees from diverse backgrounds as well as diverse clients or prospects. I know and understand their distinct needs,” says Mark, who also is a member of the firm’s Pride and Ally Network and Diversity and Inclusion Council in his region. He also volunteers with his local chapter of the HRC, representing Morgan Stanley as a corporate ambassador for HRC’s annual fundraiser.


Mark is pleased to see the industry’s commitment to not only protecting the rights of LGBT+ employees but going beyond those protections to support their lifestyle decisions. He is proud to see Morgan Stanley commit to diversity and inclusion as part of its core values and take steps such as establishing the Institute for Inclusion and stepping up to reaffirm its commitment to LGBT+ employees.


What Mark values about Pride Month is the chance to “embrace my true, authentic self in all facets of my life and honor the pioneer activists who have fought for equal rights.” He is proud to be a leader in financial services and to “represent the firm as an out gay man, with my partner by my side.” 


Arian and Lindsay are just as proud to work at Morgan Stanley, “a firm that works hard to challenge and fulfill us both at work and in our lives outside of work,” says Lindsay. “Here, we are challenged to grow, to embrace and celebrate our differences and effect positive change in our communities.”


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