Kim Shapiro – Executive Director, Research at Morgan Stanley (3 year career break)
I joined Morgan Stanley’s Research Division in 2018 through Morgan Stanley’s Return to Work Program. Before my career break, I was a founding partner and European specialist salesperson at Autonomous Research. I started my career as a research analyst at Citi covering US domestic insurers before moving to London and taking on the role at Autonomous Research, where I held a top-3 ranking. In 2015, I started a three-year career break to be at home with my daughter before she was ready to start school.
When I was looking to restart my career, I thought Morgan Stanley’s Return to Work Program would be a win-win. I got to dip a toe back into working life, with tremendous support and a team that would benefit from my client relationships. If all went to plan I would have a great opportunity to join a leading firm. At worst, I would have gained experience that would help me to find a role elsewhere.
From experience, I found on the Program that Morgan Stanley is committed to providing great opportunities to really get to know the firm, its people and its values. The Return to Work Program is highly regarded internally and, as a result, I found that everyone I sought out to learn from made time to meet with me, and I met with as many people as I could.
By the end of the 12-week program, I was fully immersed into a research team that made me feel like a valued colleague. They were more productive and insightful than I had experienced anywhere before, and their camaraderie and genuine interest in my well-being was what sold me. My client relationships didn’t hurt the cause either! When I was starting to think about roles in the industry, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to commit to. I’m fortunate that the Return to Work Program provided me with varied exposure, the opportunity to build relationships and demonstrate my skills and ability. Towards the end of the program, the research management team worked with me to craft a permanent role that made sense for both me and the team. So, I joined Morgan Stanley’s European Insurance Research team as a permanent employee.
My advice to other returners? Be open to change. The support provided to me throughout my Return to Work experience allowed me to take a chance on a role that I wouldn’t have found in any other way, and I’m delighted to say my role now really works for me.