Morgan Stanley Success Story: Global Leader in Financial Services

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One cannot ignore the fact that money doesn't impact us. Banking and financial services are our everyday affairs. Today, companies that offer financial services have a broad category that can include many different types of businesses. Generally speaking, a business can be categorized as a financial services institution if it deals with finances, investment banking, and money management.

With its headquarters in New York City, Morgan Stanley is American multinational financial services and investment management company. In this article, we will learn about Morgan Stanley, its founders, its startup story, its business model, its investments, and more.

Morgan Stanley - Company Highlights

  • Company Name-Morgan Stanley
  • Headquarters-New York, USA
  • Sector-Financial Services
  • Founders-Henry Sturgis Morgan, Harold Stanley
  • Founded-1935

Morgan Stanley - About

  • Morgan Stanley is a financial services company that provides advice, capital origination, trading, management, and distribution for organizations, governments, and individuals through its affiliates and subsidiaries. The firm is divided into three main business sectors: Securities issued by institutions, wealth management, and investment management.
  • Morgan Stanley raises money to assist organizations, institutions, and people around the world in achieving their financial objectives. As a global financial services provider, the company has a presence in more than 40 countries, serving clients like governments, institutions, corporations, and individuals. Through proper dedication and continuous delivery of first-class service, Morgan Stanley has remained a consistent industry leader over many decades.

Morgan Stanley - Industry

  • The largest and most liquid financial markets are found in the United States. The financial services industry in the US has grown at an exponential rate in the last few years. Along with this, global economic growth is also being influenced by the US finance and insurance markets. Furthermore, the global financial services industry is going to increase at a CAGR of 6% from 2020 to 2025, increasing its value from $20.49 trillion to $28.53 trillion.

Morgan Stanley - Founders and Team

Morgan Stanley was founded in 1935 by Henry Sturgis Morgan and Harold Stanley.

Henry Sturgis Morgan

  • Henry Sturgis Morgan was born on October 24, 1900, in London, UK. He joined J.P. Morgan & Co. in 1923, the same year he received his Harvard degree, and worked there from 1928 to 1935 as a partner. He and Harold Stanley co-founded Morgan Stanley in 1935 as the Glass-Steagall Act forced the division of investment banking from commercial banking.
  • Henry was married to Catherine Frances Lovering Adams, who was the daughter of the U.S. Secretary of the Navy, Charles Francis Adams III.
  • Henry served as the Chairman and President of The Morgan Library & Museum. Along with this, he also served as a board member of J.P. Morgan & Co., General Electric, and Pullman Company. In addition, Morgan served as an OSS agent and a commander in the Naval Reserve during World War II.
  • Henry Sturgis Morgan passed away on February 8, 1982, at the Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, New York.

Harold Stanley

  • Harold Stanley was born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, in 1885. He got his degree from Yale University in 1908. Harold Stanley's career began in 1916 when he was appointed vice-president of the Guaranty Trust Company of New York's bond division. Eventually, he spun off the department into the Guaranty Company, a separate and subsidiary securities company, where he collaborated with J.P. Morgan, Jr. Dwight Morrow, who was appointed the US Ambassador to Mexico, was replaced by Morgan's invitation for Stanley to join his company as a partner in 1927.
  • Apart from all of this, Harold Stanley was also a member of the Yale Club, the National Golf Club, the Racquet and Tennis Club, and the Links Club of New York. He served as the director of numerous organizations, including Shell Caribbean Petroleum Corporation.
  • Harold Stanley did a lot of philanthropic activities. He oversaw the New York fundraising effort in 1940 to raise $1.5 million (or $29,013,000 in 2021) for the United States Commission for the Care of European Children, a non-profit that assisted young war refugees.

James P. Gorman

  • James P. Gorman is a prominent business executive who currently serves as the CEO and Chairman of Morgan Stanley, a leading global financial services firm. He holds a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Melbourne and an MBA from Columbia Business School.
  • Prior to his current role, Gorman worked at McKinsey & Company and Merrill Lynch. He joined Morgan Stanley in 2006 as the President and Chief Operating Officer of the Global Wealth Management Group (GWMG).
  • In January 2010, Gorman was appointed as the CEO of Morgan Stanley, and in 2012, he assumed the additional role of Chairman, where he continues to provide leadership and strategic direction to the company.

Morgan Stanley - Startup Story

  • In 1935, the original story of Morgan Stanley began with J.P. Morgan & Co, which served as its foundation. It was when the Glass-Steagall Act was passed, firms could no longer combine their commercial and investment banking operations under a single holding company. The Glass-Steagall Legislation, a part of the United States Banking Act of 1933 describes that commercial and investment banking companies should run separately. Due to this, J.P Morgan & Co. decided to go with the commercial banking business. Henry S. Morgan and Harold Stanley, among others, left J.P. Morgan & Co. as a result, joining other Drexel partners to launch Morgan Stanley. This is when the new story for Morgan Stanley began.
  • It was on September 16, 1935, when the company officially began operations at 2 Wall Street in New York City, right next door to J.P. Morgan. For the United States Steel Corporation, which served as the lead underwriter, the company distributed 1938 US$100 million in debentures. In addition, the company earned the distinction of serving as the lead syndicate in the 1939 U.S. rail financing. To facilitate greater activity in its securities business, the company underwent a new strategy for reorganization in 1941.
  • After many years around 1997, the company merged with Dean Witter Discover & Co., the spun-off financial services business of Sears Roebuck. Within a year, the company's name was changed to "Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co." To prevent hostility between the two businesses, the original name was chosen as a combination of the two predecessor businesses. For reasons unknown, "Dean Witter" was removed entirely in 2001, and the company's name changed to "Morgan Stanley".
  • The combined company started expanding its international operations around 1999. John J. Mack, who was the company's president and Chief Operating Officer, established a joint venture in India with a Mumbai-based financial services group, JM Financial.
  • It is reported that Morgan Stanley was the largest tenant of the World Trade Center complex. It had offices spread across 35 floors of buildings 1, 2, and 5 of the complex. Sadly during 9/11, the firm lost over 13 employees. However, the other 2500+ employees were vacated safely.
  • The company made acquisitions in the 2000s that allowed them to widen its financial operations. As part of a larger initiative to promote investment in initiatives that support economic, social, and environmental sustainability, Morgan Stanley announced in November 2013 that it would invest around $1 billion to help enhance affordable housing.
  • Through many years, the company has invariably delivered top-notch financial services. Today, the company claims of having offices in more than 40 countries.

Morgan Stanley - Mission and Vision

  • Morgan Stanley's mission statement is, “Morgan Stanley is dedicated to providing first-class service to our clients, in a way that reflects our commitment to creating a more sustainable future and fostering stronger communities around the world. In each line of business, we strive to demonstrate our belief in the power of transformative thinking, innovative strategies and leading-edge solutions—and in the ability of capital to work for the benefit of all society.”
  • They have core values that they follow passionately: do the right thing, put clients first, lead with exceptional ideas, commit to diversity and inclusion, and give back. These values serve as the foundation for everything Morgan Stanley stands for.

Morgan Stanley - Name, Tagline, and Logo

  • Morgan Stanley was known as "Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co" in 1997, as it was merged with the company Dean Witter Discover & Co. However, the company's name was again changed to Morgan Stanley in 2001. The reason for changing the name was never revealed.

Morgan Stanley - Business Model

  • Morgan Stanley is a financial and investment banking company that offers services such as sales & trading, investment banking, investment management, prime brokerage, research, institutional consulting, wealth management, and private wealth management. Moreover, the company's business segments are divided into three segments:

Wealth Management

  • Stockbroking, brokerage, and investment advisory services, market-making activities in fixed-income securities, financial and wealth planning services, annuity and insurance products, credit and other lending products, banking, and retirement plan service are offered by the global wealth management group. Under this segment, the company offers financial and wealth planning services to individuals and small to medium-sized businesses and institutions.

Institutions Securities

  • This segment by Morgan Stanley offers investment banking services like capital raising including underwriting of debt, and equity, and financial advisory services like mergers and acquisitions advice, reorganizations, real estate and project finance, and corporate lending activities and credit products. The clients include corporations, governments, financial institutions, and high-to-ultra high-net-worth clients. Institutional securities at Morgan Stanley is the most thriving industry.

Investment Management

  • Services like traditional asset management, including equity, fixed income, liquidity, alternatives and managed futures products, and merchant banking and real estate investing are provided by this business segment.

Morgan Stanley - Revenue Model

  • One of the most profitable business segments of Morgan Stanley is institutional securities. Other than this, the investment banking division of the company makes money by charging fees for advisory services like mergers and acquisitions and restructurings. In both mergers and acquisitions and initial public offerings (IPOs), the firm ranks highly on a global scale. In 2022, the company made a revenue of $53.7 billion.

Morgan Stanley - Challenges Faced

  • Just like any bank, Morgan Stanley faced challenges during the 2008 financial crisis. The firm lost more than 80% of its market value between 2007 and 2008, with its share price sliding by 57% in just four days. Despite these difficulties, Morgan Stanley has since recovered and remains a major player in the global financial services sector.

Morgan Stanley - Growth

  • Morgan Stanley has come a long way and evolved through many decades. The company was a pioneer in assisting blue-chip clients to access public markets to finance expansion and innovation throughout the 1950s and 1960s. It was in 1962, the firm claims to have developed the first practical computer model for financial analysis, ushering in a new era for the discipline. Later in the 1990s, the company went overseas by expanding its operations in countries like India, China, South Africa, and Russia.
  • After the financial crisis during 2007-2008, the company struggled and faced quite challenges. In 2008, the company changed its status by becoming a bank holding company. In addition, the firm also made a deal with Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (Japan). The group agrees to invest $9 billion for a 21% stake in the company. This gave both companies to expand on a global scale.
  • At present, the company is one of the top financial and investment banking companies in the USA and of, course internationally as well.

Morgan Stanley - Awards and Achievements

Morgan Stanley has received the following awards and recognition:

  • Morgan Stanley was ranked among the top innovative workplaces in 2020 and 2021 by Fast Company.
  • Morgan Stanley was recognized by the Times which ranked the company fifth among the top 20 large companies.
  • Great Place to Work Institute, Japan based on the opinions of the employees and the corporate culture, ranked Morgan Stanley as the second-best company to work for in that country in 2007.
  • In 2004, Working Mother named Morgan Stanley as one of the 100 Best Companies for Working Mothers.
  • Morgan Stanley also achieved the Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality in 2016.
  • Euromoney magazine recognized Morgan Stanley with the Best Global Investment Bank Award in 2015.
  • Morgan Stanley was named the Bank of the Year by IFR in 2020 and the best global investment bank by Euromoney in 2021.

Morgan Stanley - Competitors

The top competitors of Morgan Stanley are:

  • Goldman Sachs
  • Citibank
  • Raymond James
  • Bank of America
  • Credit Suisse
  • Merrill Lynch
  • Wells Fargo

Morgan Stanley - Future Plans

  • With a revenue of $53.7 billion, Morgan Stanley is undoubtedly one of the leading global investment banks, employing more than 80,000 employees. The company plans to be more optimistic in terms of the stock market. It further aims to come up with a better business strategy in the areas of wealth management and investment banking. Its long-term goal is to amass $10 trillion in client assets.

Morgan Stanley - FAQs

Who started Morgan Stanley?

  • Morgan Stanley was founded in 1935 by Henry Sturgis Morgan and Harold Stanley.

Where is the headquarters of Morgan Stanley?

  • Morgan Stanley's headquarters are in New York, US.

Who are Morgan Stanley's top competitors?

  • The top competitors of Morgan Stanley are Goldman Sach, Citibank, Wells Fargo, Raymond James, Bank of America, Credit Suisse, and Merrill Lynch.

Who is the CEO of Morgan Stanley?

  • James P. Gorman currently serves as the CEO and Chairman of Morgan Stanley.