• Giving Back

Clare Woodman's GOSH Connection

Morgan Stanley's Institutional Securities COO on why GOSH philanthropy is so important to the firm — and to her.

Since I joined Morgan Stanley in 2002, I’ve been lucky enough to be involved with a huge variety of interesting projects, both for clients and on behalf of the firm.  And as global chief operating officer for Morgan Stanley’s Institutional Securities Group, I’m aware that the decisions I make have a real impact on the fortunes of our firm and our employees. It’s challenging and invigorating. 

But just as crucial to the well-being of the firm – and my own for that matter - is making decisions that can significantly improve the lives and fortunes of others. 

Impossible Not to Contribute

That’s why Great Ormond Street Hospital means so much to me. The firm’s relationship with the hospital began in 2007, so when I became a trustee of the Morgan Stanley International Foundation, the firm’s philanthropic arm, in 2008, GOSH was a big focus.  Through visiting the hospital, meeting the clinicians and patients, and learning about some of the work that goes on there, it’s impossible not to want to contribute.

Right away, I joined the ongoing effort to raise funds for a new clinical building that would replace the hospital’s tired and cramped facilities. In just a few years, I’m proud to say we raised £11.5 million – £1.5 million above our initial target. In 2012 I watched the Morgan Stanley Clinical Building open its doors, reinforcing the hospital's position as a world leader in paediatric medicine. It really brought home the impact that corporate and individual philanthropy could have.

I have to say, I still get a lump in my throat every time I visit the building and see my firm’s name on the wall. 

Fulfilling a Longtime Need

I was thrilled when Morgan Stanley partnered with brilliant plantsman Chris Beardshaw on last year’s Healthy Cities garden at Chelsea Flower Show.  I was lucky enough to visit it twice before we transferred it to its permanent home in Poplar, East London, where it continues to thrive, cared for by the local community.

Chris’s latest design for this year's Morgan Stanley Chelsea Flower Show Garden for GOSH holds special significance for me and fellow members of the Morgan Stanley International Foundation. After its debut at the Chelsea Flower Show in May, the garden will fill a disused rooftop within the hospital complex and fulfill a longtime need for a tranquil place where families can make difficult decisions or simply decompress.

It’s yet another development that will offer real benefits, hopefully for many years to come. I’m already preparing for a tear in my eye when it finally takes root at the hospital. I know I’m not the only one.

Read more news and blogs about Morgan Stanley's Chelsea Flower Show Garden for GOSH.

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