When she was 10 years old, Yuki, an Associate in the Investment Banking Division at Morgan Stanley Tokyo, moved with her family to London, and while she spoke no English at the time, she picked it up quickly at the international school where she enrolled. “That’s where I learned how to adjust to new environments, a skill I rely on to this day in my professional life,” she says.
Yuki began that professional life at Morgan Stanley after signing an offer letter “straight away, without hesitation and on-the-spot” during a job fair in Boston that Japanese-English bilingual students studying abroad fly in for. Then, just two weeks after she graduated from university, she packed her bags and moved back to Tokyo.
While in one way she was returning home, she admits to “being a bit nervous about fitting in” after largely having been away from Japan for the better part of a decade. But she notes that “when making important decisions, it’s worthwhile to consider an option that gets you out of your comfort zone.” Having readjusted once more to an old-but-new environment, she works today in the Investment Banking Division, where her bilingualism and her ease dealing with new people come in handy. “I have had opportunities to speak to clients from around the world”, she says, noting that it’s her interaction and collaboration with those clients as well as her colleagues that keeps her energized. “When we accomplish something, it’s as a team,” she says.
Within the Investment Banking Division, I work on a team that covers the real estate industry in Japan. We work on several different types of transactions—equity financing deals for real estate investment trusts, debt financing by Japanese corporates and merger and acquisition deals.
When I first joined, I focused a lot more on working with spreadsheets and presentations than I do now. As I’ve developed in my career, I’ve increasingly spent more time with people from other divisions, like Global Capital Markets, and with people on the client side, attending more client meetings than I did before. I can see that I’ve gradually taken on more responsibility, which is something that I really like about my job.
Because my dad worked for an investment bank, I decided at quite a young age that I’d look into a career in finance. I did some work shadowing and attended insight days at investment banks before even starting university. It wasn’t until I did a 10-week internship in the Investment Banking Division that I actually got to know how bankers spend their days. When you’re an outsider, all you see are the deals that are publicly announced, but behind the scenes, there is always so much going on, which I found thrilling.
One of the best things about being in Investment Banking at Morgan Stanley is that we work closely with our colleagues, who are talented professionals with different backgrounds, in our offices all over the world. My colleagues are always there to support me, helping me to broaden my knowledge in finance and real estate.
A few years ago, I worked on a private placement deal for an international company that was selling its solar power generation assets. It was the first time my team had ever worked on a private placement deal, which is a transaction that is completed outside of the public markets. The deal involved four different teams from the Investment Banking Division, and on the client side, there were people working on the project in both Japan and abroad. It was challenging to coordinate, but the result was a successful deal that we could all take pride in having helped to make happen.
My ballet class on the weekend is one of my favorite things in my free time. I was seven years old when I first started ballet, and I still enjoy it. It’s not just dancing to the music; it requires a lot of physicality, focus and concentration. It allows me to get some exercise and helps me mentally prepare for the week ahead.