Jonathan Kindred is CEO of Morgan Stanley Japan. He is President & CEO of Morgan Stanley Japan Holdings Co., Ltd. and Morgan Stanley MUFG Securities Co., Ltd., Chairman of Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co., Ltd. and a member of the firm’s Management Committee.
Morgan Stanley offers a range of financial services in investment banking, sales & trading, research, real estate and investment management in Japan, including securities joint venture operations with Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group.
Jon joined Morgan Stanley as an analyst in New York in 1983. In 1985 he transferred to the firm’s London office where he worked as a trader in the Fixed Income Division.
In 1989 he transferred to Tokyo to assume responsibility for structuring private debt placements in Japan and then rose to increasingly senior roles including Head of Structured Transactions Asia from 1993 to 2000 and Head of Fixed Income Asia from 2000 to 2006.
Jon holds a B.S. degree in Economics from The Wharton School at The University of Pennsylvania where he was a Benjamin Franklin Scholar.
How have you progressed and evolved through your time at Morgan Stanley?
In an unplanned way. I never thought my career would play out the way it did, but I’m happy with how I took advantage of opportunities as they arose.
After two years with Morgan Stanley, I accepted a position in Eurobond trading in London. That turned out to be a really exciting move given the dynamic growth occurring in the bond and swap markets in Europe at that time. Being involved in the very early days of the swaps market really set the foundation for my work in derivatives over the next couple decades. A few years later, I was asked to move to Tokyo. While the move was a risk, I thought the business was interesting, and the opportunity was great. I expected to be here for five years, but ended up taking more and more senior opportunities within fixed income and eventually became the country head.
Can you talk about Morgan Stanley’s growth and performance in Japan?
Morgan Stanley has been in Japan since 1970. We grew dramatically with a highly successful franchise in sales & trading, having made a strong commitment to contribute to the development of Japan’s financial market. In 1986, we were one of the first foreign firms to have a seat on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
In years leading up to the joint venture with MUFG which was formed in 2010, we achieved strong absolute performance in the context of a weak Japanese macroeconomic landscape and a securities industry market structure skewed to domestic firms. At the time, foreign firms in aggregate had a 25% revenue wallet share, with domestic Japanese firms controlling 75%.
After the joint venture, we were in a position to capture a greater share of the industry revenue wallet, leveraging the combined strengths of Morgan Stanley’s global reach and financial expertise and MUFG’s extensive client footprint and financial resources. The joint venture recently marked its 5-year anniversary and has been highly successful in giving Morgan Stanley broader access to the domestic Japanese market, both corporate and retail. We continue to operate seamlessly globally and have distanced ourselves from our foreign peers.
While the Japan joint venture is one of the most successful aspects of the firm’s global alliance with MUFG, the alliance is more than just Japan. MUFG is the firm’s largest shareholder, and we also have a loan marketing JV in North America, as well as a variety of cooperative agreements in lending and capital markets.
How would you describe the firm's culture and how has it changed over time?
We’re an excellent meritocracy. Leaders want to create opportunities for junior players to take on as much responsibility as they can. We reward those who step up, take advantage of opportunities and contribute to the organization. For me, the chance to move to different countries and take on different roles was incredibly valuable. That’s how Morgan Stanley grows and we achieve success, by having more people move up and take on more responsibility.
We share a commitment to putting clients first, a commitment to excellence and integrity. The Morgan Stanley brand was built over many decades, and provides great value for anyone who comes to work here.
Tell me about the importance of 'Giving Back' - both at Morgan Stanley and for you personally.
Giving back is one of our core values. We try to create mechanisms for people to give. In Tokyo, we have an “Inspire Philanthropy” program to identify charities that can create volunteer opportunities for our employees. It’s an important way to give back and create visibility in the community.
We also encourage people to be involved in outside organizations, committing time to what interests them. One of my philanthropic focuses is a scholarship at the University of Pennsylvania, which facilitates no-loan support packages to students.