Andrew has data analysis in his DNA. Raised by parents who are both accountants, he found himself naturally gravitating toward math and economics classes in high school. As an undergrad at the Stevens Institute of Technology, he decided to major in Quantitative Finance, a field that combines math, probability, statistics and computer science. Today, Andrew is an Associate in Morgan Stanley’s Internal Audit Department, where he uses those skills to help the firm identify significant risks.
How does the internal audit process work at Morgan Stanley? What are some of the main goals?
Our mission is to focus management’s attention on the most important risks facing the firm and drive attention to resources needed to address them. To assess the firm’s risk management framework, we leverage a variety of assurances techniques—from data analytics to scenario-based testing. We also monitor key risk and performance indicators to help focus our efforts on areas where risk is increasing or changing.
What’s unique about the Internal Audit group is that we have access to the inner workings of the firm across all business lines and functions. And we operate independently. So even though we’re Morgan Stanley employees, we have a degree of separation and independence that helps us to do our job as objectively as possible.
How did you first become involved in Morgan Stanley Internal Audit?
During my sophomore year in college, I started looking for internship opportunities and I ended up connecting with someone from a local Morgan Stanley Wealth Management branch. It was a great experience. He gave me some projects of my own to work on and helped me develop a real appreciation for how Morgan Stanley operates and its core values. When I was getting ready to graduate, I decided to apply for the Summer Analyst Program with Morgan Stanley Internal Audit and was offered a full-time position when it ended. I spent another two years in a rotational program for new Analysts within Internal Audit, which gave me exposure to different areas of the firm as well as new managers and team members. In 2022, I was promoted to the Associate level.
What are some of the big areas of risk that Internal Audit is focused on?
There is a large focus across the industry on environmental and social governance. Cybersecurity is also always top of mind. It’s important that both our clients’ and employees’ data is secure and that there aren’t any vulnerabilities in the data systems or controls that we use.
What is a current project that you are working on?
One of the most important projects I currently work on is the Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review (CCAR). It’s an annual capital planning exercise all major U.S. financial institutions are required to conduct to ensure they have sufficient capital to continue operating during adverse economic conditions, such as the market downturn in 2008. We conduct an independent evaluation of the firm’s stress test results against the Federal Reserve Board requirements to determine whether Morgan Stanley’s capital levels are sufficient.
How does the group manage so many different responsibilities and areas of expertise?
We have a diverse group of experience in Internal Audit. I work not only with individuals who have deep audit backgrounds, but with some very technical people who have impressive skill sets, whether that’s math experts, physics PhDs or statistics specialists. And the team includes members who used to be lawyers, regulators, financial advisors and other professionals as well. We also get support from Morgan Stanley’s offices around the world. I regularly interact with colleagues in Budapest and Mumbai. That really gives us a bird’s-eye view of the whole company.
I genuinely feel that our stakeholders within Morgan Stanley value the work we do to help them. On a personal level, that’s made working in Internal Audit a very rewarding experience.
When you’re not auditing, what do you like to do for fun?
I love hiking and skiing—basically any kind of outdoor activity. I also went back to school to work on a master’s degree in Financial Analytics, which is similar to Quantitative Finance but has a greater emphasis on data analytics. Morgan Stanley has been very supportive of that through its tuition reimbursement program, which encourages employees to continue learning new skills as they progress in their careers. And I’ve gotten back into playing competitive ice hockey, which I loved doing as an undergrad. As captain of my team, I’ve learned how to be a leader and appreciate the importance of collaboration. That’s something I think about every day in my work with Morgan Stanley.