Morgan Stanley

Community Links Team Wins First Morgan Stanley UK Strategy Challenge

May 16, 2014

Working with Four Charities over Eight Weeks, Morgan Stanley Professionals Deliver more than 1,800 Pro Bono Hours in Strategic Advisory Services

London —


Morgan Stanley today announced that the Community Links team has won its first UK Strategy Challenge.  Community Links is an east London social action charity working with 16,000 people each year. It has over 35 years' experience working in one of the most deprived, diverse and vibrant areas in the country. 

The Morgan Stanley UK Strategy Challenge pairs teams of top-performing Morgan Stanley professionals with non-profit organisations in London for eight weeks to provide pro bono strategic advice on issues affecting the charities, including geographic expansion, growth plans, corporate engagement and cost efficiency. The teams presented their final strategic programmes to judges at Morgan Stanley’s London headquarters.

“We applaud the efforts of everyone who took part in this year’s UK Strategy Challenge,” said Colm Kelleher, President of Institutional Securities and CEO of Morgan Stanley International. “We are constantly looking for ways to expand our philanthropic activities and make a real difference to the communities in which we live and work.  By helping these four charities to address some of the challenges they face, our teams have made a significant contribution to the charities’ ability to enhance the great work they do over the longer term.

The Morgan Stanley team working with Community Links developed an ambitious strategy to deliver an effective expansion of the charity’s services into the borough of Waltham Forest, helping to complement and enhance existing services of other charities’ in the borough. Pilotlight, a non-profit organisation which helps small, ambitious charities function more effectively, helped to facilitate the programme. 

“The eight week Strategy Challenge has tested the skills and experience of everyone involved and we are delighted to have won this year,” said Elizabeth Monk, a Strategy Challenge Team Member. “We have spent a lot of time with Community Links and have seen first-hand the incredible work they do in our local community. While I will miss working with them on a day-to-day basis, I am confident my experiences of the Strategy Challenge will stay with me throughout my career.”

“We have enjoyed thoroughly working with the team from Morgan Stanley and welcoming them into our organisation - their analysis and findings are going to help tremendously in our efforts to expand into the borough of Waltham Forest. The Morgan Stanley Strategy Challenge highlights an important new relationship being developed between charities and the private sector, and we look forward to continuing to be a part of this important initiative,” added Geraldine Blake, Chief Executive, Community Links.

Morgan Stanley’s Flagship US Strategy Challenge, launched in 2009, has cumulatively delivered more than 32,500 hours of service to 61 non-profit organisations over the last five years, providing charities with significant assistance while giving valuable skills training to over 280 Morgan Stanley employees.


About Morgan Stanley

Morgan Stanley is a leading global financial services firm providing a wide range of investment banking, securities, investment management and wealth management services.  The Firm's employees serve clients worldwide including corporations, governments, institutions and individuals from more than 1,200 offices in 43 countries.  For further information about Morgan Stanley, please visit

About Pilotlight

Pilotlight is a unique, capacity building charity offering tailored strategic planning support to charities and social enterprises that are tackling disadvantage in the UK. They match directors from charities and social enterprises with teams of senior business people who coach them through the process of planning for sustainability, development and growth.  Each charity and social enterprise also has a dedicated Pilotlight project manager who coordinates and facilitates the process. For more information please visit:

Other participating nonprofits:

About East London Business Alliance

East London Business Alliance (ELBA) is the leading social regeneration charity in east London. With 25 years’ experience, it facilitates corporate involvement in community organisations, education and employment across the east London boroughs. Working with over 100 City and Canary Wharf companies, ELBA enables successful cross-sector partnerships between companies and the community, placing more than 12,000 business volunteers into more than 300 local organisations, schools, colleges and universities every year, and helping several hundred local people into work.

About Magic Breakfast

Magic Breakfast delivers healthy breakfasts to 252 schools across the country, enabling 8,500 children to receive a good breakfast as fuel for learning.  The charity has delivered over 6 million free healthy breakfasts to schools where child hunger is a barrier to learning. It has achieved this with key corporate partners including Quaker Tropicana, Morgan Stanley and Pearson. Child poverty is the biggest single barrier to children being able to realize their rights in the UK. It is estimated to cost £25 billion a year through costs to business, the police, courts and health and education services. UNICEF CEO, Dec 2010

About The Prince’s Trust

Youth charity The Prince’s Trust helps disadvantaged young people to get their lives on track. It supports 13 to 30 year-olds who are unemployed and those struggling at school and at risk of exclusion. Many of the young people helped by The Prince’s Trust are in or leaving care, facing issues such as homelessness or mental health problems, or they have been in trouble with the law. The Trust’s programmes give vulnerable young people the practical and financial support needed to stabilise their lives, helping develop self-esteem and skills for work. Three in four young people supported by The Prince’s Trust move into work, education or training. The Prince of Wales’s charity has helped 750,000 young people since 1976 and supports over 100 more each day. Further information about The Prince’s Trust is available at or on 0800 842 842.

Media Relations Contact: Tom Walton, 44.20.7425.5658