Andy Saperstein, Head of Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, told more than 400 Financial Advisors and managers attending the 2019 Multicultural Leadership Summit, that diversity ranks among his highest priorities.
“My goal is that diversity will be so ingrained in the organization and our culture that our children will never have to experience a workplace that doesn’t completely reflect the communities where we live and the clients that we serve,” Andy said. “I believe someday that a generation of people at Morgan Stanley look back and are amazed that diversity was ever an issue.
“Until we walk into a room and the comfort is in the diversity in the room,” he said, “we have work to do.”
Andy told the Summit that he grew up on Staten Island in New York City in a diverse community and high school.
“My classmates, my friends, my teammates were all different ethnicities and different races,” Andy said. “Actually I didn’t know anything else.
It wasn’t until I graduated from high school and left Staten Island that my world became less diverse.
“In retrospect, until that point I had simply taken diversity for granted. It was a normal part of life, as it should be,” he said. “I believe diversity is the natural state and we can’t rest until we get there.”
More diversity at Morgan Stanley is needed and also a new diversity of skills, he said.
‘Just as we need diversity of people, to properly build relationships with clients across the country,” said Andy. “We also will need people who understand technology, understand big data, and are skilled in tax and trust and estates. All to make sure we touch and build relationships with our clients in so many different ways.
Clients will continue to look to financial advisors for more than just financial advice, he said.
“People are living longer. Clients will need the resources to take care of aging parents and for themselves during longer retirement periods. You can’t advise someone financially unless you fully understand their life’s dreams and goals.”