Aondo-Kume Feese serves as a Business Risk Unit Manager at Morgan Stanley. His responsibilities are vital to ensuring the business analyses potential risks, prevents them from occurring, and handles them if they arise.
To be successful in his role, Feese brings nearly a decade of experience and expertise that he’s earned internally at the firm. He started as an Analyst, then progressed to an Associate, and was promoted to Director in the Operations division, before landing his current role within the firm’s Bank Resource Management division. Feese regularly leans on his previously acquired skills to deliver above what’s asked of him.
Upskilling to advance career mobility
Aside from his day-to-day tasks, Feese possesses the qualities of a leader. His foresight was evident long before he would be hired, when he decided his career needed a new direction after graduating from university with a degree in mechanical engineering. Not one to waste time, he took the initiative to enroll in a training program that would strategically place him in a position to move up the ranks. His determination paid off and he has proven to be a valuable asset to the firm.
“I knew from school that I needed to do a lot of work to stand out. Carrying that on to my time at university and then into the professional world, I knew going into finance there likely wouldn’t be many people who looked like me,” he said. “That was even more apparent the higher up the ranks you went. It was important to be aware of any opportunities, and to be involved in as many of the Morgan Stanley initiatives as possible that are specifically aimed at moving the dial regarding the recruitment and development of diverse professionals.”
BYP: How and why did you enter the financial services industry?
Feese: I joined a program just before my second year of university. It’s known as SEO London. They assist and train individuals on the nuances of not just finance, but several different niche industries. It was quite a structured program, that has run for years both the U.S. and U.K. and provided guidance, particularly to university students of Black and ethnic minority backgrounds. This solidified my desire to be in financial services and led me to apply to an internship program at Morgan Stanley, following which I was offered a full-time role as an Analyst in the Operations division.
BYP: How did you establish yourself as a leader in a field where Black minority professionals are underrepresented?
Feese: The real challenge is staying consistent, applying that pressure, and putting your finger on the pulse. I don’t think you go into it thinking you’re going to be a trailblazer. I think you go into it wanting to effect change, and it is left to others to determine whether your influence makes you a leader.
BYP: Did you have any support to help you through your career?
Feese: Yes. I have been fortunate enough to have a few people who are part of my network that have evolved into unofficial mentors. These are people who, over time, I’ve built relationships with and I’m now able to confide in. Around a year ago, I was able to move to a completely different part of the business, the opportunity only came to my attention due to connections I have developed during my Morgan Stanley career.”
BYP: What strategies have Morgan Stanley implemented to further representation within the company and senior leadership?
Feese: Previously, while working in Operations, its global head put together a task force of senior individuals to create and develop an environment of empowerment for Black professionals, so that people knew its leadership were taking issues seriously. That task force continuously tracks its performance and has grown, even as it has broken into different work streams. Additionally, the firm also works with diversity partners, such as the BYP Network, to try and reach Black talent and provide them with avenues to entry at Morgan Stanley.
Are you ready for a new challenge or thinking about a change in career? Have you ever considered a job in Banking? If so, we could have just the program for you. Applications for Morgan Stanley’s Experienced Professionals Program in London are now open.
Designed to attract talent from a diverse range of backgrounds and professional disciplines, this program is open to individuals with 3+ years of post-graduate work experience. You are not required to have financial services experience and will be provided with all the training to have a successful career in Banking. Apply today.