Morgan Stanley

Ian Chambers

Head of Wealth Management Australia


As Head of Morgan Stanley Wealth Management Australia, Ian oversees the strategic positioning, operational, regulatory adherence, cultural and reputational aspects of the business. His role consists of working with his leadership team to set the business strategy; leading, empowering and mentoring people within the business; spending time with clients and seeking broader opportunities whilst assessing both market and operational risk within the business.

Ian holds a Bachelor of Business in Accountancy. He was appointed to the ASIC Markets Disciplinary Panel (MDP) in 2010, a position he continues to hold today. In 2015, Ian was initiated into the Australia Stockbrokers Association Hall of Fame in recognition of service to the industry.

What brought you to Morgan Stanley?

I joined Morgan Stanley in 1998 to assist in establishing the institutional equity presence in Australia. The firm’s global preeminent brand and the opportunity to organically build a differentiated business were paramount in my decision to join. 

Did you always want a career in the financial services industry?

As a teenager I had a natural interest financial markets. I enjoyed reading the financial pages of the newspapers, reading company reports and watching share prices. I completed an accounting degree in Melbourne and then worked as an auditor with Coopers and Lybrand, however my ambition and genuine interest was always to transition into financial services.

What is a typical day like for you?

The aspect I thrive on is that every day can be vastly different. Global financial markets are not easy, and never dull! A day will inevitably consist of spending time with members of the leadership team, business partners and financial advisers, attending a client function or business pitch, meeting with regulators, connecting with internal partners in risk, compliance and HR and interviewing senior candidates. Importantly, I spend meaningful time thinking about the strategic direction of our industry, the future trends and how our business needs to look in 3-5 years. 

What is the most fulfilling aspect about your work?

Ultimately our business is about our clients, people and our technology. I enjoy being part of building and growing a business, working with good people executing on strategy and achieving success together. I enjoy my interaction with clients. I’m highly competitive and enjoy putting Morgan Stanley ahead of our peers. 

What is special about Morgan Stanley?

Naturally I’m biased but what ultimately makes us unique are our people and culture. As a personal observation, when you travel throughout the world meeting Morgan Stanley people, I genuinely feel they are extremely capable; respectful and have high personal integrity. 

How would you describe the firm’s culture?

Our culture at Morgan Stanley is guided by our five core values: do the right thing, put clients first, lead with exceptional ideas, commit to diversity and inclusion, and give back. We are a firm that is collegial, is respectful and places a high value on integrity. The most successful people in our industry are the ones who focus on building genuine client relationships. Essentially, we have no business without our clients.

How do you approach managing your team?

I try to empower and support. It’s not so much about managing but giving team leaders strategic direction and ownership of their business, being there to assist and providing advice as needed. Empowerment comes with accountability, which I think drives team leaders to succeed and facilitates positive outcomes for the broader business. 

What’s the best piece of advice you can give to a person starting out in the industry?

Don’t take yourself too seriously and never compromise on honesty and integrity; I use a phrase “never trade your integrity”. Clients make our business – they are our utmost priority. 

Where do you see the greatest opportunities for Morgan Stanley in Australia going forward?

I believe wealth management is an enormous opportunity in Australia. The need for savings and wealth advice should only grow into the future as we all live longer. Given our unique global capability we’re well placed to provide the best possible advice to clients on their long-term wealth needs and specific goals. More broadly, technology is changing at a rapid pace, which means we must adapt quickly and ensure our digital offering is meeting the needs of our clients. 

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