Annie Diamond, Regional Sales Manager for New England at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, never thought of a career on Wall Street. At Dartmouth College, she studied French language and literature and took a plethora of liberal arts classes, not once taking a finance or economics class. She was just as surprised as her family when she landed at Goldman Sachs, in human resources, scouring incoming resumes for open positions at the firm.
Soon, she realized she, too, might have a shot at those openings. “On a whim, I applied and was offered a client service role on the equity derivatives desk,” she remembers.
Not knowing what a derivative was, she “went in cold.” Still, with her curiosity and knack for quick learning, she excelled for several years on the derivatives desk. Then, an opportunity presented itself with Morgan Stanley, in its Prime Brokerage group, where she would spend several years enjoying client service, sales and business consulting roles, serving as the main point of contact for hedge funds. “I need to be talking and relating with people, as well as winning new business,” Annie learned about herself. “I cannot be stuck behind a spreadsheet!”
Her desire to win goes back to her childhood, which Annie remembers fondly, growing up outside of Boston with supportive parents and two younger brothers close to her in age. “We were super competitive,” says Annie, who recalls playing Candyland as a family and “needing to win every game!”
Despite her early industry successes, Annie struggled with a lack of confidence. “I sold myself short not thinking I could succeed. If I could go back,” she adds, “I would tell my 20-year-old self to, ‘Be confident; you have what it takes.’”
Today, that’s precisely what she tells members of her team. Still leveraging her strong desire to win, Annie has implemented many forums across her region so peers can share their best ideas and measure their successes. “If you’re trying to create change or drive an initiative, you need to be able to measure your progress toward that goal,” she insists.
Annie is an enthusiastic advocate for members of her team as well as her many mentees. “Mentoring is important to me. No one can do it alone,” she says. “I love to see others find a path for themselves, confident in their voice.”
A co-chair of the Greater Boston chapter of the Firm’s Women in Wealth networking group, Annie is also a visible and vocal champion for women and diversity more broadly. She is grateful for Morgan Stanley’s diversity initiatives and for being “the employer of choice for women—and anyone in a working family.”
In 2010, after eight years of living in New York City, she wanted to move back home to Boston. She was able to explore opportunities in other areas of the Firm, landing a newly created role on the Prime Brokerage desk in Boston. “At that moment, I realized Morgan Stanley is not just a place to work,” says Annie. “It’s a family.”
To help with its mission of fostering a new generation of financially savvy girls and increasing the number of women working in finance, Annie volunteers with Invest in Girls. “It’s wonderful to see the girls in this program learn about finance and explore careers in financial services,” says Annie, an advisory board member who has expanded Morgan Stanley’s involvement beyond Boston to New York City and beyond.
She also loves teaching her two children, who are 8 and 6. Having spent so much time with them at home during the pandemic, Annie is proud when “they hear me on work calls then ask me questions and see their mom in action.” Like when Annie, who calls herself a “Peloton fanatic,” was asked to be a moderator of Morgan Stanley’s Lessons in Leadership virtual client event and to interview Ally Love, CEO of Love Squad, a Peloton instructor and in-arena host of the Brooklyn Nets. “It was amazing to hear about her career and her drive,” beams Annie, who was so happy her kids were watching the interview from home.
Described by colleagues as a “true force of change,” Annie was recently named a Morgan Stanley MAKER, joining a distinguished group of women and men, all nominated by their peers for their accomplishments. She’s grateful for the support she’s had and is driven to “pay it forward.” She says “MAKERS are bold—unafraid to speak up and create change.”
Doing so requires a high level of resiliency, Annie acknowledges. “In our jobs and in life, we need to be strong and keep going. You will get through this,” she says with certainty. “Now let’s get to it.”