Morgan Stanley: A Legacy of Expertise and Inclusive Growth

Alice Milligan
Chief Marketing Officer Morgan Stanley

Celebrating its 88th year, leading global financial services firm Morgan Stanley’s lasting success is a result of its strong culture and core values, prioritizing diversity and inclusion and a commitment to giving back. The firm consistently utilizes marketing channels to express and reinforce these values. Why? According to this year’s Edelman Trust Barometer, 63% of respondents said that they will buy or advocate for brands based on their beliefs and values and 69% choose a place to work based on the expectation of having societal impact.  

“Giving back has always been a really strong component of our core values,” said Alice Milligan, CMO of Morgan Stanley, “and when we look at our marketing, decision making and the partners we chose for our sponsorships, it is a filter we use for everything we do.”  

Morgan Stanley’s new global partnership with the Women’s Tennis Association puts the value of giving back into action, having established a series of initiatives that benefit athletes, their families and coaches. A newly unveiled financial empowerment program, What Moves You, helps female tennis players “[take their] game further, on and off the court.” Focusing on three different pillars – advice, education and awareness, and leadership strategies – What Moves You helps these athletes build their brand and surround themselves with the right team. Building on the partnerships vision for expanding access to the game of tennis, Morgan Stanley is also the exclusive presenting partner of the WTA’s Come Play initiative, which utilizes tennis to positively impact communities and encourage girls of all ages and abilities to lead healthy and productive lives on and off the court. 

Additionally, Morgan Stanley recognized an opportunity last year to action on their brand commitment to promoting DEI. Inspired to push for the inclusion of women and other historically marginalized groups in the space economy, Morgan Stanley launched Creating Space in collaboration with CNN. The goal of the partnership was to imagine a spacesuit that would provide expanded access to space for women and break down barriers for a new generation of space explorers. As a result of this initiative, Morgan Stanley created the conceptional ‘The Access I’ spacesuit, with improved mobility measures for astronauts with a variety of body types. 

Late last year, Morgan Stanley also collaborated with fashion brand Rebecca Minkoff to reimage the iconic ‘Banker Bag.’ “The impact on employees and women on Wall Street exceeded my expectations,” Milligan said. With a stylish and functional upgrade, the redesigned bag is a symbol of belonging and confidence for women on Wall Street and was amplified with the firm’s first test-and-learn social influencer program across Instagram and TikTok to reach broader audiences. 

Through bold moves and a daily commitment to core brand values, Morgan Stanley continues to build a more inclusive future with innovation and dedication. “It’s not just including people and thinking about diversity,” Milligan said, “but creating an organization and culture where people belong.” 

And all of this has laddered up to a new global brand campaign that the firm launched earlier this year. The campaign, Old School Grit. New World Ideas. is a powerful nod to Morgan Stanley’s history – a brand built on decades of reliability and expertise – while infusing an eye on the future that will allow them to adapt for next-gen consumers. “The Morgan Stanley brand is the secret sauce of the firm,” Milligan said. 

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