Morgan Stanley Announces New Asia Pacific Leadership

Hong Kong —

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) today announced the appointments of Wei Sun Christianson and William H. Strong as Co-CEOs of Asia Pacific. This follows the Firm’s recent announcement that Owen Thomas, Asia CEO since February 2008, has decided to return to the U.S. in June.

Ms. Christianson has worked for Morgan Stanley for over eight years in Hong Kong and Beijing, and has been active in the investment banking industry in China for over 15 years.  She is currently CEO of Morgan Stanley China and will continue in this role in addition to her new responsibilities.

A senior banker with over 30 years in the investment banking industry and 18 years at the Firm, Mr. Strong is currently a Vice Chairman of Investment Banking and head of the United States Midwestern region for Morgan Stanley, based in Chicago.


James P. Gorman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Morgan Stanley, said, “With China at its heart, Asia Pacific is a critical growth region for the Firm and an increasingly important part of our global business. Morgan Stanley has built a leading and differentiated franchise in the region, most recently under the stewardship of Owen Thomas, and we will continue to invest in and expand our platforms and further grow market share there.”

“Bill and Wei are two of our most experienced and respected bankers,” said Colm Kelleher, Co-President of Institutional Securities and Head of Europe, the Middle East, Africa (EMEA) and Asia Pacific. “As the Asia Pacific market grows in scale and economic importance, we will continue to focus on serving domestic and regional clients, as well as bringing our Asia insight and expertise to our global client base. We feel that Bill and Wei are a powerful combination and the right team to lead Morgan Stanley in our next phase of growth and expansion.”

“In addition to her regional role, Wei will continue to drive the development of all of our businesses in China,” added Mr. Kelleher.

William H. Strong will relocate to Hong Kong in the near future, while Wei Sun Christianson will remain based in Beijing. 

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 42 countries.  For further information about Morgan Stanley, please visit   


Note to editors:

Wei Sun Christianson – biography  


A Managing Director and China CEO, Wei Sun Christianson, 54, is responsible for all aspects of the Firm’s operations in China.  In addition, she is a member of Morgan Stanley’s Management Committee.

Under Ms. Christianson’s leadership, Morgan Stanley has broadened its onshore footprint in China to include commercial banking, asset management and trust services.  In addition, the Firm has received regulatory approval for a domestic securities joint venture.

She first joined Morgan Stanley in 1998 working in the Firm’s investment banking division.  Between 2002 and 2005 she served as Chairman for China for Credit Suisse and subsequently for Citigroup Global Markets.  She rejoined Morgan Stanley at the beginning of 2006 in her current role.  During her banking career Ms. Christianson has held senior roles advising on many of China’s landmark privatizations, and on M&A transactions by overseas listed Chinese companies.

Before starting her investment banking career, Wei Sun Christianson was an Associate Director at the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC).  While at the SFC, she helped formulate the regulations in preparation for the Hong Kong public listings of the first group of Mainland Chinese companies in 1993.  Prior to this, she was a lawyer in New York with Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe.

Ms. Christianson was named on the FORTUNE Most Powerful Women “International Power 50” list in 2008, 2009 and 2010, and was one of the Wall Street Journal’s “50 Women to Watch” from 2006-2008.  She is also on Forbes’ “Power Women in the Wings” and the Financial Times’ “Women at the Top: The Ones to Watch” lists.

She serves on the board of trustees of Amherst College, Massachusetts, and was recently appointed to the Estee Lauder Company’s board of directors.

Ms. Christianson graduated cum laude from Amherst College, Massachusetts.  In 1989, she received her J.D. degree from the Columbia University School of Law and is admitted to practice law in the State of New York.  She is married with three children.

William H. Strong – biography

William H. Strong, 58, is currently a Vice Chairman of Investment Banking and head of the United States Midwestern region for Morgan Stanley, based in Chicago.  He will join the Firm’s Management Committee.

Throughout his thirty-year career, Mr. Strong has advised clients in over twenty countries on numerous mergers, acquisitions and divestitures, as well as capital raising transactions across all products.  Recent transactions include representing World Color Press Inc. in its sale to Quad/Graphics, Inc., the financing for Aon Corporation’s acquisition of Hewitt Associates, Inc., and representing CDW Corporation in its sale to an affiliate of Madison Dearborn Partners, LLC. 

Prior to joining Morgan Stanley in 1993, he was Head of International Investment Banking for Salomon Brothers, based in London.  In this role, he was responsible for Salomon Brothers’ investment banking activities and offices in Asia, Australia, Canada, Europe and Latin America.  He first joined Salomon Brothers in 1979 in New York, becoming a Managing Director in 1987.  Mr. Strong began his career with Price Waterhouse in Chicago in 1976.

A Life Trustee of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Mr. Strong was Chairman of the Board of Trustees from 2001 to 2006.  Mr. Strong is a past member of the Board of Visitors of the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, and is currently a Member of the Board of Trustees of Indiana University and the Newseum in Washington, DC.

Mr. Strong graduated from Purdue University, Indiana, and received an MBA from Northwestern University.  He is married with three children.

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