In the perpetual competition of the securities industry, Morgan Stanley consistently ranks as one of the world’s premier financial institutions and packs a heavy punch in institutional securities, global wealth management and investment management.
Very friendly and willing to teach.
- Very prestigious
- Great IT platform and training
- Excellent diversity policy
- Clear, open communication from senior management
- Extremely competitive
- High pressure
- Long hours
In the perpetual competition of the securities industry, Morgan Stanley consistently ranks as one of the world’s premier financial institutions, conducting its business through three revenue streams: institutional securities (capital raising, corporate lending and financial advisory services), global wealth management (brokerage and investment advisory services) and investment management. The mother ship may be in New York, but the firm has outposts across the globe in 28 countries with over 600 city locations including Amsterdam, Athens, Budapest, Dublin, Frankfurt, Geneva, London, Luxembourg, Madrid, Milan, Moscow, Munich, Paris, Stockholm and Zurich. The firm’s first European foray was in Paris, although today it is the firm’s London office that leads the way on the continent, with over 5,000 employees.
A Bit of Background
Morgan Stanley traces its roots to the former securities operations of J.P. Morgan. In 1933 – after the passage of the Glass-Steagall Act, which prohibited firms from operating both commercial and investment banking businesses – two J.P. Morgan partners (Harold Stanley and Henry S. Morgan, grandson of J.P. Morgan) split from the bank and formed Morgan Stanley. The new firm was formed to concentrate on the securities business, while J.P. Morgan remained a commercial bank. Eminent events in the firm’s history include its admission to the New York Stock Exchange in 1941 and its IPO in 1986.
A major shakeup occurred in September 2008, following the collapse of the global financial markets: Morgan Stanley changed its status from investment bank to bank holding company, and gave a £4.5 billion stake of its business to Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Japan's largest bank. The firm’s management was intent on sailing Morgan Stanley to safer grounds. For decades the bank had thrived by taking bets with its own money, often using large amounts of debt to increase profits, with little outside oversight. It would now lower borrowing substantially, shut down its proprietary trading desk, and triple its deposit base – a safer source of capital. By becoming a bank holding company, Morgan Stanley also agreed to tighter regulations and much closer supervision from government agencies (rather than only the Securities and Exchange Commission). Now, Morgan Stanley looks more like commercial banks, with more disclosure, higher capital reserves and less risk-taking.
Furthermore, in a major departure from the firm's history, investment banking was de-emphasised as the driver of Morgan Stanley's profits. This strategy was completed with the purchase of a majority stake in Salomon Smith Barney's brokerage division in 2009, which immediately turned Morgan Stanley into the largest brokerage house in the US. On non-financial matters, the firm celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2010, and has continued to demonstrate its dedication to its Global Citizen Program into the new decade. The banking giant ranks especially environmental sustainability, children’s health and education, and community affairs high on the agenda.
A Closer Look at Divisions & Departments
Today, Morgan Stanley is an institutional securities business which provides advisory and capital raising services, including investment banking, sales and trading, principal investing and research. Its investment management business is one of the largest around; its global wealth management delivers financial advice and brokerage to individuals as well as foundations; its financial services group provides consumer credit reports. Besides these strong divisions, Morgan Stanley has one of the largest retail brokerages in the US, and offers its clients mutual funds, equities, fixed income products, alternative investments, separately managed accounts, banking, mortgages, insurance and annuities.Read all 50 employee quotes
Morgan Stanley offers both full-time and internships programmes across the globe. Future analysts, associates and quants can take up positions in the firm’s major business areas across Europe including finance, investment banking, investment management, operations and research.
While career opportunities at Morgan Stanley vary, the firm’s standards do not. All applicants need to fulfil a fixed set of criteria, so make sure your academic achievements are up to scratch and you can demonstrate your genuine interest in the firm and the industry. Many roles involve client interaction, and even if they don’t, you still need to be a confident talker with a poised writing style on top of that. While leaders are very sought after, you’ll also have to be a team player and in fact, you need to be both in order to live up to the firm’s expectations. Don’t assume the list of most wanted ends here, as those with analytical minds and an overflow of motivation and enthusiasm are also the ones Morgan Stanley is after. Oh, and should you have some foreign languages under your belt, you’re likely to be on the winning side (for some of the roles.)
The Hiring Process
Unsurprisingly, the hiring process at Morgan Stanley is tough, and while it varies by programme and division, all applicants need to fill out an online application form or go to one of the many recruitment events that the firm provides. Provided your online application is successful, you will then be faced with a telephone or face to face interview.
If you are invited to a first round of interviews interviewers will question your suitability, drive and technical/analytical knowledge. If you’ve impressed, this will be followed by an assessment day. In the assessment centre, you will be grouped with other candidates and taken through several rounds of interviews with senior bankers. During the interview, senior managers will not only test your interest in the firm and the industry (‘Why do you want to work for us?’, ‘What does the operations and finance division do?’, ‘Who are our clients?’, ‘What is the main function of an investment bank?’), but also on your logical skills. Random hypothetical questions could include scenarios such as ‘If I gave you a list of 5 things to do and if you couldn't finish all of them by the end of the day, what would you do?’. No matter what’s thrown at you, it’s important that you demonstrate a genuine interest in the role. Note: the firm pays close attention to enthusiasm levels.
Along with the expected numerical and verbal reasoning tests (don’t worry, nothing too difficult but you will have to prepare), case study and group exercise, Morgan Stanley also asks its candidates to review a list of 40 pairs of data and say whether they are alike or not. The case study is simple and involves a business situation where various alternatives for the seller have to be evaluated. It is essential that you ask the interviewer plenty of questions and that you prepare a good structure for your analysis. For the group exercise, you and the other candidates will be divided into two small groups. Each group is expected to lead a group discussion on a business scenario, which is then followed by another meeting involving both groups. During this role play, make sure you pay attention to the information provided and definitely get involved early.
At Morgan Stanley full time graduates schemes are tailored by the departments and are available to people of varying levels of experience, from those with little or none, to applicants armed with an MBA and several years at rival firms.
Analyst Positions are Open for Graduates
The firm’s analyst scheme is open to all candidates: those with an accounting, finance or economics degree will fit in nicely while humanities or social sciences grads should not shy from applying as the firm also actively recruits those from a less traditional background.
Analysts can pick the division they wish to work for and opportunities range from corporate treasury and financial control, to real estate, research, to prime brokerage and credit risk. Graduate schemes usually start with an orientation, with desk-specific and on-the-job training. Expect your days as an analyst to revolve around preparing reports, using analytical tools and creating financial models.
MBAs and PhDs wanted
Associates at Morgan Stanley flock the investment banking, REI (Real Estate Investing) and GCM (Global Capital Markets) departments so make sure you have a real interest in these areas when you apply for a grad scheme. Like the analyst programme, associates are trained over a three-year period and are also able to undertake a rotation on request. Five weeks of training in London will kick-start the associate programme, and one year into the scheme, you will usually start specialising in an industry, region or product. Work will be very much management-based and you are likely to find yourself in the middle of executing transactions, providing financial and strategic business analysis, as well as dealing with clients on a regular basis.
Morgan Stanley also offers a quantitative finance programme in strats and modelling, which focuses on providing risk analysis, trading strategies and structuring of products amongst other things. This scheme is suitable for PhD or Master candidates who have a strictly quantitative academic background. Programming and mathematical geniuses with a keen interest in the finance industry are most likely to be successful in the application process.
If you’re looking for an internship in investment banking, you’ve probably come to the right place as Morgan Stanley offers these for prospective analysts and associates via their ten-week summer schemes. Many companies claim internships to be a stepping-stone to landing a full-time position, and Morgan Stanley is no exception – so long as you are well-versed in the art of making yourself indispensable.
You should be able to get ahead of the game by undertaking a summer analyst internship running from June to September. Only second-year students can apply for these positions, although you’ll be glad to hear that candidates of all disciplines are accepted. Those equipped with a business, economics or maths degree inevitably have an advantage. Interns start off the summer internship with a classroom-based week of training, aimed at introducing you to the firm and broadening your technical skills. You can expect to spend the rest of the summer in your chosen division – of which there are a total of ten available including finance, investment management, private wealth management, and technology. Be prepared to put your analytical skills to good use and expand your financial expertise by working on a range of transactions and projects in your division, alongside some of Morgan Stanley’s pros. Those with more work experience on their CVs can apply for the summer associate programme, which is open to candidates studying towards an MBA. In EMEA, divisions include investment banking and Global Capital Markets with business sectors covering private equity, merchant banking and real estate. You can expect to carry out the same work as full-time associates so get prepared to think on your feet and be given lots of responsibility right from the beginning. One week of training in the London office should put you at ease, fully preparing you for what lies ahead.
Other programmes include 12-month industrial placements in finance, HR, operations, prime brokerage, and technology. First-year students can also benefit from the spring insight programme running for a week in either March or April. These, while giving you a quick glimpse of the firm without going into too much detail, are still worth a shot as you never know who might eye you up for more fruitful positions at the firm.
Morgan Stanley Graduate Recruitment Info
Graduate programme info:
Approx. graduate hires in 2012-2013: 350-400 full-time analysts and up to 20-30 associate MBA/quantitative PhD positions.
Length of grad programme: Typically 12 months
Application deadline: See website
Approx. intern hires in 2012-2013: 350-450
Length of internship: N/A
Application deadline: See website
No. of employees worldwide: 62,211
No. of employees in the UK: 5,000
Grad analyst hires in 2012-13: 350
Associate hires in 2012-13: 20-30
Intern hires in 2012-13: 400-475
Approx. no. of applications: 20-25,000
Interns: £1,000 to £2,500 / week (Approx.)
Analysts: £35,000 - £50,000 (Approx.)
Associates: £45,000 - £75,000 (Approx.)
Vice President: £70,000 + (Approx.)
Sales & Trading (equity & fixed income)
I personally founding the environment quite a boring one to work in.InternHelpful?
I went in expecting to be worked and I was worked.InternHelpful?
Basic training was given, that I imagine in the main most of the interns were already familiar with.InternHelpful?
It varied widely, but generally people were very open and willing to be of assistance. Others were less inclined to engage but, in hindsight, I think the responsibility to develop relationships lies with the intern, so I wouldn't lay blame overly at the feet of the employers.InternHelpful?
Looking for a job?Find Investment Banking Jobs
London Head Office:
20 Bank Street
London E14 4AD
No. of offices worldwide: 600