Morgan Stanley Expands Its Search for Black and Female Traders

Wall Street bank launches program aimed at widening diversity and the first hires will hit the trading floor in February 2022  Bloomberg

Morgan Stanley is bringing its program to hire more Black and female traders and salespeople to London, hoping to replicate the success it’s had on Wall Street. The Morgan Stanley Experienced Professionals Program is aimed at recruiting Black or female candidates already working in other industries that might not have considered a career at a bank. The program has received more than 800 applications in the U.S. since opening last September and led the bank to hire about 70 staff across its business.

With applications for U.K. places opening this month, Morgan Stanley expects to see the first recruits walk through the doors of its London office in February. Participants go through up to eight weeks of training, with a likely permanent job at the end. Entry pay is commensurate with other staff at the same level.

“My ideal scenario is that this program succeeds itself out of existence,” said Derek Melvin, Morgan Stanley’s co-head of origination and syndication for fixed income secured lending, who came up with the idea. A rare Black executive at a Wall Street bank, Melvin said the industry had some way to go before that happens. “Everything I’ve heard and everything I’ve experienced has been that Morgan Stanley has been in line historically with the rest of the Street, which is not where you want to be, right?”

Hiring a more diverse workforce has become a priority for the banking industry in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protest movement that shone a light on, among many other racial issues, the lack of Black staff at investment banks.

“We shouldn’t be talking about low single-digits for these representation numbers, they should be much higher,” said Melvin.

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