Morgan Stanley

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Morgan Stanley, Source: Morgan Stanley

Morgan Stanley is a global financial services firm specialised in securities, asset management and credit services. Founded in 1935, company headquarters are in New York City.


Record and Controversies

Revolving Door

  • Audrey Choi, Global Head of Leadership Development at Morgan Stanley, was Chief of Staff of the Council of Economic Adviser from 1996 to 2001, and a Team Leader of the Obama administration’s Council of Economic Adviser.[1]
  • John Crompton, Head of Market Investments at UK Financial Investments Ltd worked at Morgan Stanley until 2007.[2]
  • Sir Howard J. Davies, a director since 2004, was Chairman and Chief Executive of the U.K. Financial Services Authority (1997-2003), and was previously Deputy Governor of the Bank of England (1995-1997).[3]
  • Jeremy Heywood, Permanent Secretary to Prime Minister's Office, was Managing Director Investment Banking Division, Morgan Stanley from 2004 to 2007.[4]
  • Francis Maude, Conservative MP for Horsham declares ‘occasional advisory work’ for Morgan Stanley.[5]
  • Donald T. Nicolaisen, Chief Accountant for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission from September 2003 to November 2005, is a member of the board of directors.[6]
  • Jonathan Powell, former 10 Downing Street Chief of Staff, has been Managing Director of Morgan Stanley’s Investment Business Division since 2008.[7]
  • U.K. Life Peer David Simon, Lord Simon of Highbury, a former Minister at HM Treasury and the Department of Trade and Industry and an advisor to the Cabinet Office, has been a senior advisor to Morgan Stanley Europe since 2000.[8]
  • Sir Robert Walmsley, former Chief of Defence Procurement at the Ministry of Defence was appointed a Senior Advisor to Morgan Stanley in February 2004.[9]

"Dividend washing" aka tax avoidance planning

In December 2011 an investigation by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism uncovered a £65.7bn market in European equity dividends whose "central" purpose is tax avoidance. The bureau revealed how some of London's biggest banks 'are behind a huge tax avoidance trade "cheating" European countries of hundreds of millions of euros a year' in taxes. Its analysis suggests that the loss – mainly to France, Germany and Italy – is up to £500m a year. The banks include Credit Suisse, Barclays Capital, Bank of America and Morgan Stanley.

Against the backdrop of Prime Minister David Cameron's decision to wield Britain's EU veto to protect the Square Mile, former Liberal Democrat treasury spokesman Lord Oakeshott called for the Financial Services Authority (FSA), the Treasury and the European Commission 'to launch an investigation to ensure full disclosure of all dividend arbitrage transactions'.

"The FSA, Treasury and the European commission must work closely together to ensure the whole sequence of transactions of this type is fully disclosed to the British, German and French tax authorities. We must stamp out abusive artificial tax-dodging transactions together with our European partners, and stop pretending they are out to undermine the City of London as a responsible and pre-eminent financial centre." [10]


Morgan Stanley spent $4.8 million on lobbying the US government in Washington in 2014. Compared to the $3.4 million spent by Goldman Sachs Group and $6.3 million spent by JPMorgan.[11]

During the year, the firm also hired Capitol Tax Partners for $240,000, Crossroad Strategies for $160,000 and Kate Moss Co for $60,000; amounting to 18 lobbyists for Morgan Stanley.[12]

Morgan Stanley is also reported to have funded the Britain Stronger in Europe campaign, the leading group advocating for Britain to remain in the EU when the referendum is held in June. The figure was undisclosed, but is rumoured to be a six-figure sum. [13]

It was confirmed by the Electoral Commission to have donated £250,000 as of 10 February 2016. [14]

Lobbying firms

Former lobbying firms


Revolving Door.jpg This article is part of the Revolving Door project of Spinwatch.



  1. Change, Executive Office of the President Team Lead > Council of Economic Advisors Team Leads > Audrey Choi, accessed 01 February 2011.
  2. UKFI, "John Crompton joins UKFI," Press Release 27 November 2008, accessed 03 April 2010.
  3. Morgan Stanley, Board of Directors as of January 1, 2011, accessed 01 February 2011.
  4. Who's Who 2009, HEYWOOD, Jeremy John, online edition, Oxford University Press, accessed 24 March 2009.
  5. UK Parliament, Register of Members' Financial Interests > MAUDE, Rt. Hon. Francis (Horsham), accessed 01 February 2011.
  6. Morgan Stanley, Board of Directors as of January 1, 2011, accessed 01 February 2011.
  7. Who's Who 2009, POWELL, Jonathan Nicholas, online edition, Oxford University Press, accessed 24 March 2009.
  8. Garfield, Andrew, "Morgan Stanley hires Lord Simon as adviser," The Independent, 11 July 2000, accessed 01 February 2011.
  9. Who's Who 2009, WALMSLEY, Sir Robert, online edition, Oxford University Press, accessed 24 March 2009.
  10. Nick Mathiason, Tax avoidance trade puts Square Mile in spotlight again, The Observer, Sunday 18 December 2011
  11. Duncan Robinson and Tom Braithwaite Goldman Sachs’ reported spending on EU lobbying rises 14-fold Financial Times, 28 April 2015, accessed 29 April 2015.
  12. Center for Responsive Politics Lobbyists representing Morgan Stanley, 2014, accessed 29 April 2015.
  13. Laura Noonan and George Parker, 'Banks lead as business buys into UK’s pro-EU campaign', 22 January 2016, Financial Times, accessed 13 April 2016
  14. Donor Search, Electoral Commission, accessed 25 May 2016
  15. Register for 1st September 2013 - 31st November 2013 APPC, accessed 29 January 2015