Nisha Bhatia, a Vice President at Morgan Stanley leading the Asia Wealth Management due diligence function, shares with WiFA her motivation for staying in finance, her 2021 mantra, and much more.

Tell us a little bit about yourself 

I have been in Hong Kong for five years and this is my first role in the financial services industry. Prior to my move, I worked for two Big Four consulting firms in India.  

In my free time, I enjoy exploring cafes, art galleries and hiking trails in Hong Kong. I am also a part-time docent at the Asia Society, as well as being a volunteer at two charitable organizations in Hong Kong, Kids4Kids and Pathfinders.   

What drew you to a career in finance? What has motivated you to stay?

As a consultant for the financial services sector for over a decade, I was always curious to know how things workwithin banks. Hence, when I received the opportunity to work for Morgan Stanley, I jumped on it. 

It’s the endless opportunities to learn and grow that motivate me. To be successful in this field, you shouldstay abreast of changes in the business, regulatory and geopolitical environment. There is no room for beingcomplacent, and not one day where work is monotonous.

How do you stay on top of your professional game? Any tips on how you keep your competitive edge?

Change is the only constant in today’s world. To stayrelevant it is important to think ahead and watch out forpotential industry transformations and the impact it has on your role and your job. I encourage my team to stay attuned to regulatory and technological developmentsand host regular knowledge sharing sessions. 

I am passionate in learning about new technologies and trends, particularly around AI and digital currencies or tokens, and the impact it has on different areas of the financial services sector. With the pandemic accelerating the adoption rate of digital technology, I have volunteered to be a part of a global project on upgrading my team’s workflow technology solution. As part of this,I share regular updates with our due diligencemanagement team on new regulatory technologyofferings. 

This year has brought tremendous upheaval and disruption to all aspects of our lives. How are you and your company continuing to promote diversity and gender equality despite these massive changes?

Commitment to diversity and inclusion is one of our core values. I’m proud to be part of an organization thatconsistently preaches and practices this. Morgan Stanley has a number of employee network groups that organizesevents and activities to promote diversity and inclusion,while enabling employees to share their views and inputsin a safe environment. 

I have participated and helped organize some of these events, many of which have become virtual in the last eighteen months. I would like to highlight two insightfulseries led by senior leaders in Morgan Stanley: 

1. In the Lead, a podcast of life lessons and views on gender equality

2. Diversity in Investing, a webinar series to create awareness and share best practices to ensure a diverse workplace and environment

We are also looking forward to having more in-person sessions as social distancing restrictions reduce.   

What will be your 2021 mantra to keep you motivated, either professionally or personally? I’m inherently an optimist with a realistic streak, hence my mantra for 2021 is “Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.”