Morgan Stanley

Nicola White

Managing Director, Global Head of Rates Electronic Markets


Nicola White is Global Head of Rates eMarkets, responsible for the electronic trading strategy in Fixed Income interest rates trading. She oversees electronic trading and risk within rates, and drives how electronic trades are priced, where they are executed, and how they are controlled. Nicola first joined Morgan Stanley as an intern in technology, then joined the firm full time in 2003 as a software developer for the mortgage-backed bond business.

Describe your current role at the firm and your responsibilities.

As Global Head of Rates for our Electronic Markets division, I am responsible for managing the electronic trading and risk within rates, as well as driving how electronic trades are priced, where they are executed, and how they are controlled on behalf of ourselves and our clients.

What led you to join Morgan Stanley and how have you evolved through your time here?

I was initially deciding between working at a financial services firm and starting at a tech start-up. I knew I wanted to work in a team-oriented environment, and after getting familiar with the company as an intern, seeing how the company fostered teamwork and collaboration at every level, I knew it was the right place for me. Everyone I interviewed with was passionate about Morgan Stanley and that excited me.

Since I joined the firm in 2002, I have had the opportunity to serve in a number of different roles. I have developed real-time mortgage pricing software, traded government bonds and worked with clients and market structure in a COO role. My career path here has changed me in several ways: I’ve developed an attention to detail, along with a macro view, which allows me to work with a broad range of partners, both inside and outside the firm, to drive projects forward. Today, I use all those skills in my focus on technology and trading, providing tools and solutions for clients, as they manage their portfolios.

How would you describe the firm’s culture?

Collaborative. Right now, I am in the middle of what may be the most significant project of my career: Building the capacity to allow clients access to fixed-income execution electronically in one location. To advance potentially revolutionary projects like these, you’ve got to work in an environment of collaboration and idea generation. Every day I walk in the door, I am excited about the new challenges in front of me and the talents and passion of the people around me. That’s what enables you to build what has never been built before. The people involved all understand that they are contributing to making something better, something special.

Have you found mentors here at the firm? How have they shaped your experience here?

From the beginning, there has been plenty of help and support from people at the firm. I’ve had the good fortune to have an excellent mentor, one who has given me honest feedback—which can be hard to give as well as hard to get—but which has helped me to improve and function at a higher level. I believe mentors can help you make better decisions and navigate difficult situations.

What are your views on the importance of “giving back”—both at the firm and for you personally?

I am passionate about helping to uphold the Morgan Stanley culture by supporting our recruiting and community service efforts. In addition to my responsibilities at the firm, I support our virtual recruiting team in bringing new talent to fixed income, and lead a high school mentoring program for New York City high school seniors preparing for college, as part of one of the firm’s volunteering initiatives. Outside of Morgan Stanley, I tap into my passion for running and chair the LADACIN marathon and half-marathon teams, raising funds for children and adults with developmental needs.

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