We all want to do something to try to change the course we find ourselves on. As a firm, we can do more, and here are five steps we’re taking right now.
This week will not be easily forgotten in history, and it shouldn’t be. God-willing, it will be seen as a turning point in race relations. The pain, fear, sadness and anger felt by the black community, and also by the vast majority of people globally, is palpable.
We all want to do something to try to change the course we find ourselves on and become the country where all men and women are treated equally. Many, many thousands of citizens are protesting across the country. They are doing so with great and understandable emotion. But they are also doing so with respect and in peace. I know because I have witnessed it first hand, three times this week, most recently late yesterday as 20,000 protestors marched past my block in Manhattan. A small number of people are using the cover of protest to loot and create mayhem. That has no place in the United States or anywhere.
So what can we do?
This morning, I held a call with Morgan Stanley’s Black Managing Directors to listen to their thoughts and to learn how we can be a better firm and contribute to a better society. Today, they sent out a memo to express their hurt and pain on behalf of our Black community and to be there as leaders by collectively contributing to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. I applaud their leadership.
As a firm we can do more, and we will do the following:
- Carol Greene-Vincent, Head of Global Internal Audit, will join Morgan Stanley’s Operating Committee, the most senior governing body of this firm. I was planning on having her join at the end of 2020, but I have accelerated her appointment to June 30.
- Susan Reid, Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion, will join Morgan Stanley’s Management Committee as of June 30.
- In her elevated role, Susan will create a new Institute of Inclusion, modelled after our successful Institute for Sustainable Investing. It will have an independent advisory board that I will chair. Among many things, it will be responsible for setting policy, putting in place metrics, coordinating our internal and external voice, and overseeing the mentoring, development and promotion of our diverse employees. The Institute will be properly funded, initially with $25 million, to ensure it can successfully complete its mission.
- Just as our Black Managing Directors have contributed to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, the firm will make a donation of $5 million. In addition, the firm will match dollar for dollar U.S. employee contributions to the Fund.
- We’ve added a new fifth value to our core values: Committing to Diversity and Inclusion. Putting Clients First, Doing the Right Thing, Leading with Exceptional Ideas and Giving Back underpin everything we do. While Committing to Diversity and Inclusion is implied in “Do the Right Thing,” it is time to make it explicit.
I urge all employees, whatever their race, color or political persuasion, to embrace these changes as we try to do our bit to make Morgan Stanley the place of choice to work for anyone of any background.