Morgan Stanley employees in London and Hong Kong raise their voices and funds by participating in caroling events that support local charities.
Every year, Morgan Stanley employees in Hong Kong and London tune in to the holidays—literally!
In Hong Kong, the Morgan Stanley Directors’ Choir has been belting out holiday tunes for 11 years to raise funds for charity, but this isn’t a typical holiday choir. The fun and funds come from employees across different business groups who pledge money to see whether their bosses can carry a tune. It’s a fierce competition to see which division raises the most money and employees have the pleasure of hearing their respective division heads and managing directors perform a public holiday concert. In addition to friendly rivalry, the fundraising drums up the holiday spirit, as proceeds are donated to the firm’s local core charity partner via Operation Santa Claus, an annual campaign that raises and distributes funds to more than 190 Hong Kong charities and with which Morgan Stanley has partnered for 18 years. This year, the competition is heating up even more as participating teams will compete in a “sing-off.” Each year, the directors are joined on stage by children from the Hong Kong Society for the Protection of Children, a local charity, and musical accompaniment is provided by talented employees. Santa Claus and his elves also round off the choir members.
The bar is set high this holiday season, as last year, a choir of approximately 60 Morgan Stanley directors, charity leaders, and children who benefit from Operation Santa Claus serenaded attendees with a medley of Christmas carols. Employees hit some remarkably high notes, both singing and giving. Funds from the Morgan Stanley Hong Kong Director’s Choir and an accompanying charity bake auction totaled $415,000 in support of Operation Santa Claus and the Rainbow Project—a record high for both the Morgan Stanley Hong Kong office and Operation Santa Claus.
Caroline Wong, head of Community Affairs in Asia Pacific, noted, “These are some of the heart-warming and entertaining ways we demonstrate our commitment to giving. While we enjoy hearing colleagues perform, the most gratifying part is being able to kick-start such important programs that previously lacked funding such as the Rainbow Project, which provides autism therapy for underprivileged children.”
Employees in Morgan Stanley’s London office have taken a similar tact, using their singing and fundraising talents to raise money for The Prince’s Trust, a charity that supports at-risk young adults who struggle in school and in the workforce.
The Morgan Stanley London Choir started the 2013 holiday season with a Baroque Christmas concert, performed by a dedicated employee choir, children from St. Edmund's Catholic Primary School and Musica Poetica London, an ensemble of professional Baroque singers and instrumentalists.
More than 350 people attended the performance at the historic Christ Church Spitalfields where they heard works of Bach, Handel and Henry VIII. The event raised $8,000 for the Prince’s Trust, which gives practical and educational support to help young adults, ages 13 to 30 years, get their lives back on track. For December 2014, the Choir will return to Christ Church Spitalfields to sing a selection of Christmas Carols from around the world, joined by children from St. Edmund’s Catholic Primary School, with funds once again benefitting the Prince’s Trust.
But London employees don’t always leave all the singing to the professionals. At another Morgan Stanley holiday concert, part of the Million Makers Competition, employees bid for a solo performance by an executive or managing director. Twenty directors, along with the Morgan Stanley London Choir, sang Christmas carols to a full house. The event, topped by a singular performance from Oliver Stuart, head of derivative operations in Morgan Stanley’s Institutional Securities Group, raised $23,300 for The Prince’s Trust.
“The Firm truly rallies around and looks forward to the caroling events each year,” said Joan Steinberg, global head of Philanthropy. “While the music may not be award-winning, the holiday spirit of our employees and their drive to raise funds for these important charities and help children in need are unmatched.”
Giving back is a core value at Morgan Stanley and the firm is committed to philanthropy and public works in the communities where our employees live and work.