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Pressure to Perform, but Understandable

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
Former Employee - Executive Director  in  New York, NY
Former Employee - Executive Director in New York, NY

I worked at Morgan Stanley full-time for more than 10 years

Pros

Obviously, Morgan Stanley remains a highly respected name, even after the financial crisis. Working at MS opens doors more readily to potential clients and other opportunities. When you work for a firm like MS, clients, peers, and various stakeholders tend to give you the benefit of the doubt when meeting for the first time, unlike when you work at a small unknown firm, which I have also done.

IT and related systems are very good. I've heard fellow employees complain about the IT, but I think these people have not worked at other firms or the government. The in-house software and support is more than good enough to allow you to focus on your job rather than IT issues.

Back-office support in general is good. Things like travel and expenses used to be better, having suffered somewhat with cost cutting initiatives. But for the most part, things work smoothly.

Smart people -- the average quality of employee is very high. There are duds and losers in every organization, but I found that MS had far fewer than normal. The majority of my colleagues were smart, of high integrity, and motivated.

Cons

Let me first say that I am glad for my time at MS and retain numerous friends and contacts at the firm. But of course, no organization is perfect.

It's a high pressure environment. Investment banking, sales and trading, and wealth management have all become increasingly competitive with fewer profits to go around, in my view. As a result, the pressure to compete has intensified and also the pressure on everyone to perform and win a larger slice of a shrinking pie. This could be a pendulum, and maybe things will turn, but for now, it's a tough market no matter at what investment bank you work. The good news is that MS is doing relatively better than most peers.

The working environment is arguably PC-focused. I felt that I had to be ultra cautious not just when speaking with colleagues, but also with my appearance and gestures.

Depending on your role, work/life balance may be heavily skewed toward work. With compensation going down everywhere, I think this will eventually shift back toward life balance, but it could take time.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Leadership and training are always the main challenges at any large organization. Leaders are people that know where they're going (i.e,. have vision), communicate well with their teams (i.e., can communicate their vision), and take care of those that work for them (i.e., ensure that their subordinates and colleagues have the training, tools, and career advancement that they need/deserve). It sounds simple, but few do it well.

On the training front, I felt that if you were at the headquarters, training opportunities were decent. At satellite locations, less so. But this is the case for most organizations, in my view.

Recommends
Positive Outlook
No opinion of CEO

1654 Other Employee Reviews for Morgan Stanley (View Most Recent)

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  1.  

    Good

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Morgan Stanley

    Pros

    Good experience. Excellent co-workers. Business development well intentioned.

    Cons

    Certain limitations. Old culture of brokers and management. Needs to update.

  2.  

    Internal Audit - Morgan Stanley

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Morgan Stanley

    Pros

    Good learning environment and smart people

    Cons

    Big organization, many layers of management

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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