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Morgan Stanley appoints first female head of EMEA division as Brexit looms

Clare Woodman replaces Rob Rooney, who will become head of technology.


London Banks Stock

London Banks Stock

London Banks Stock

Morgan Stanley has appointed Clare Woodman as the new head of its European, Middle East and Africa division, making her the first woman to lead the unit as the group prepares for Brexit.

The Wall Street giant made the announcement in an internal memo sent to staff by chairman and chief executive James Gorman, and seen by the Press Association.

Ms Woodman – who joined Morgan Stanley in 2002 – takes the role after serving as the global chief operating officer for the Institutional Securities Group (ISG).

“Clare’s years of experience working in London and her deep understanding of ISG uniquely position her to lead the firm in our largest international market as Brexit’s impact continues to unfold,” Mr Gorman said in the memo.

The new EMEA head will be transitioning into the job in the coming weeks and will report to Morgan Stanley president Colm Kelleher.

Her appointment needs approval by regulators.

Ms Woodman replaces Rob Rooney who will become head of technology, based in New York.

“Over the last two years, Rob has overseen technology while also serving as head of EMEA, two critical roles,” Mr Gorman said.

“During his time heading our EMEA business, he has helped the firm navigate the complex Brexit process, and we thank him for that.”

Morgan Stanley is understood to have plans to add around 200 staff in Frankfurt through a mix of new hires and relocations of its 6,000-strong UK workforce.

The move is expected to double the employee base at its Frankfurt office, which currently houses 200 staff, although the bank is set to bulk up additional offices in locations including Paris and Dublin as part of its post-Brexit strategy.

It is understood that around 80 staff will be added to the Paris office.

London will remain Morgan Stanley’s European headquarters.