When Jacques Chappuis joined Morgan Stanley for the second time in 2016, he was pleased to discover that the firm’s special culture had continued to strengthen in his years away. A Managing Director in Investment Management who oversees portfolio management teams, as well as global distribution, Chappuis says that his combined tenure gave him a new appreciation for the firm.
“Morgan Stanley has a unique and extremely valuable culture. It’s about collaboration, it’s about quality, and it’s about doing things the right way,” he says. “After more than a decade at the firm, I’m more aware of how valuable our culture is. It is our biggest strength and what differentiates us the most.”
Morgan Stanley’s focus on giving back also resonates with Chappuis: He travels at least twice a year to Puerto Rico—his home until he came to the States to earn his MBA at Columbia Business School—to serve as a board member for the Center for the New Economy, a think-tank based in San Juan that focuses on economic and policy issues affecting the island. When he’s not traveling or working, Chappuis spends his early mornings exercising and his evenings relaxing with his family. He shares his insights on The Case for Active Investment in this Morgan Stanley Minute.
I work in the firm’s asset management business, Morgan Stanley Investment Management, or MSIM. I oversee seven portfolio-management teams that invest capital on behalf of institutions and high-net-worth individuals. Additionally, I lead the distribution team for MSIM, which is responsible for our sales and marketing efforts. In both roles, I encounter a wide range of issues that impact our business each day, so one of my most important roles is prioritization and delegation—knowing what to focus on and what not to.
MSIM has always had very strong investment capabilities but historically we were not as strong at making sure the world knew about it. Over the last few years, we have enhanced our client outreach and focus on communicating the strength of our platform. We’re also bringing together the resources of the whole firm to advance the business. We have a very differentiated offering, and we’re doing a better job of sharing that story with clients.
For the past year, we've had impressive organic growth rates.1 The strong performance of our products is the starting point, but having good performance alone won’t drive growth. To succeed on the capital-raising front, we’ve had to focus holistically on how we serve clients—having strategies that address their needs, delivering returns, and identifying the ways we can add value beyond performance. Ultimately, our organic growth is the best scorecard for how we’re doing as a business.
You mentioned that you sit on the board of the Center for the New Economy in Puerto Rico. Are there any other ways you give back?
Yes, I'm also on the advisory board of Teach for America New York, which finds young leaders committed to expanding educational access and opportunity by serving in under-resourced public schools. I believe everyone should have access to a quality education. I know how meaningful my education was to me and the power it has to transform lives. There are many challenges in our educational system, and TFA is helping find solutions.
In addition to having the right experience and skill set, I like to see a certain level of intensity and focus in candidates. I believe that it's a privilege to work at Morgan Stanley, and we all have a responsibility to deliver to our clients. One of the most important decisions our clients make is asking us to manage their capital for the long term. People who understand the responsibility that comes with that, who take their job seriously and bring an intense focus to it, are the people who will be a good fit here.
I think people who interact with Morgan Stanley, either as clients, peers or other stakeholders, recognize the commitment to integrity at the firm. And I think that's incredibly valuable.
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