Ngozi Fasan has a knack for numbers and brings over 16 years of accounting, investment banking, and financial services experience to Morgan Stanley in her roles as Vice President and Risk and Control Lead for Europe, Middle East and Africa at the bank’s Investment Management division. Intentionality has been a common thread throughout her career. With each decision, she’s laid the groundwork to accomplish her professional goals consistently.
“I studied Accounting and Finance, and it was apparent that I’d end up working within the finance industry. I joined a program at a Big 4 accounting firm, which was a three-year training program to become a chartered accountant. I completed my qualifications there, which meant I was already auditing, but I didn’t necessarily feel like I had a career. So, then I moved into financial services,” she said.
Her success is a culmination of her problem-solving ability, and the fact that she has established herself as a reliable source of leadership within Morgan Stanley and among her colleagues and professional peers. Fasan is a passionate diversity and inclusion advocate, and often mentors and supports up-and-coming Black professionals who seek to accelerate their early careers.
“On LinkedIn, people reach out to me with questions about the industry or tell me they are looking for a mentor in the industry. I hardly ever say no, because that was something I didn’t really have access to in the early stages of my career,” she shared.
When it comes to making a mark in your career, Fasan is a prime example of what it means to empower others through action. BYP sat down with her during an exclusive interview where she shared insights on honoring her authenticity as a Black professional and how she hopes to improve the workforce in a way that allows for underrepresented groups to reach their full potential.
BYP: How did you establish yourself as a leader in a field where Black and minority professionals are underrepresented?
Fasan: It is just a case of establishing oneself. It was tough when I look back 20 years ago to when I started working. There weren’t many people like me on the floor. To me, it’s always been important to achieve whatever success looks like in the area I work in, which means working hard and being consistent. I constantly challenge myself to understand the industry’s driver and metric of progression and to be on top of that.
BYP: Did you have any support to help you through your career?
Fasan: In recent years I have received support from senior stakeholders outside of my jurisdiction. And yes, it has been enlightening to have the opportunity to work with senior leaders who aren’t necessarily tied to my work. Mentorship from people outside of your day job is something I think works well and am passionate about promoting and supporting others.
BYP: What are your thoughts on Black role model visibility in senior leadership roles?
Fasan: When I was an auditor, I was talking to someone who left the firm that I worked at 20 years ago, and he said out of 700 partners, there were only a handful of Black partners. There is no doubt that visibility has an impact – as the saying goes, ‘if you can see it, you can be it.’ Working at Morgan Stanley and bearing witness to the number of initiatives and programs that are in place designed to increase diversity – and more importantly, diversity in leadership – makes me proud to know that my values align directly with my employers.
If you would like to hear more about Fasan’s rise to leadership, as well as some other members of the Morgan Stanley African and Caribbean Business Alliance, you can find their panel discussion on ‘Becoming a Trailblazer | How to Become an Authentic and Effective Leader’ here
Be sure to also discover more about Morgan Stanleys’ opportunities and values on their BYP Network employer profile page.