Profile

Blair

Vice President, Operations

How would you describe the Firm's culture?

The culture is one of togetherness; there is a real collaborative nature between groups that allows the Firm to excel when faced with obstacles or to help create innovative business solutions.

I think one of the great things about working here is that everyone's opinion is valued. I always encourage my team to use their expertise and think creatively about how to overcome challenges. An innovative approach can be more effective than being told how to do something, and Morgan Stanley tries to create an environment where people have the ability to share ideas — it allows us to bring a fresh approach and facilitates change.

What do you do for Morgan Stanley?

I manage our trade support group in New York, supporting our Fixed Income cash business. The responsibility extends across several business areas including GCM, US Government and Agency, Emerging Market, Municipal and Corporate debt. Our group has core tasks that need to be done in order to support the daily activities of the trading desks however we are also looking at ways to re-engineer processes, implement recent regulatory reform and tackle any problems that arise.

What do you like most about your job?

No two days are alike. I really enjoy the variety in my workday. I might be pulled in several different directions at once, whether that's supporting the trading desk, dealing with regulatory change or looking at ways to reengineer processes. It can be challenging but I have a great team around me who help with delivering on all fronts.

Do you take part in any mentoring opportunities?

Yes, I am part of a mentoring program. I meet with mentees on an ad-hoc basis and we work together to navigate their challenges. I share my experiences to help them progress. I also benefit from the process, it reminds me what it was like to be in their shoes, and I try to understand issues from their perspective. I value all of the guidance that I have received and continue to receive from my mentors and I use the program as a way to pay this forward.

How do you give back to the community?

Giving back has always been important to me personally and it stems from my experiences in Tae Kwon Do. I was inspired by my coaches and seniors to give back to the next generation of students and I have always carried that mentality with me. I really feel that giving back is an important thing to do in life.

Morgan Stanley's belief in giving back differentiates us from other firms out there. It is also important to me personally. Every year I try to get involved in fundraising events. In 2015, I helped coordinate the November campaign for our operations team, and we raised $20,000 for men's health issues.

What made you take advantage of the Firm's international opportunities?

I have been interested in travel ever since my parents took my brother and me on holidays when we were younger. The importance of going out and seeing new places and experiencing different cultures was ingrained in me at an early age, so I was always open to the prospect of coupling travel with work. I had worked for Morgan Stanley in Sydney and Glasgow, and when I was looking for opportunities to advance my career, there happened to be a job in New York in Fixed Income Operations. I spoke to the hiring manger to make sure I was a good fit for the position and applied. I've been in New York now for two years.

How has Morgan Stanley helped you progress in your career?

With every manager I have at Morgan Stanley, I am very open about my goals, especially when it comes to mobility. Even as I've grown into a role, I've always looked to set goals that will help me develop even further. The Firm has helped me achieve them, whether that's meant moving groups or locations.

I like to have catch-ups with senior management. I can be very open about my career ambitions and what I would like to work toward. That really helped with my promotion from Director to Vice President, and landing the opportunity to work in a different country.

I feel I've come a long way thanks to hard work, and to managers and mentors who have helped me along the way.

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