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JPMorgan once rejected Morgan Stanley's EMEA head of investment banking

Thought you had FOMO? Try being JPMorgan, and the summer intern you rejected back in the 90’s ends up heading up one of your biggest rivals on two and a quarter continents.

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Massimiliano Ruggieri is Morgan Stanley’s head of investment banking in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. He’s been with the firm since 2013, after joining from JPMorgan. JPM, funnily enough, rejected his initial application work there – he only joined the bank after a two-year stint with Merril Lynch.

“I’m very happy with the career choices I made,” Ruggieri told students at a fireside chat hosted by the Queen Mary banking and finance society. “Especially a couple of moments, like when I moved from M&A to capital markets.” Ruggieri was Morgan Stanley’s financial sponsors chief before being promoted to head of EMEA investment banking.

“I wake up in the morning and I’m fired up,” Ruggieri said. “I like what I do. I like the intellectual challenge. I like that I’m surrounded by smart people – frankly, a lot smarter than me.” The constant challenge of advising clients with decades more direct experience in an industry can be draining, especially when your advice is expected to be… Well, genuinely good. 

Investment banking isn’t for everyone, then. Although Ruggieri bemoaned the people who come and train for a few years and leave thinking they know everything, he understands that the industry requirements a certain type of commitment. “These jobs are intense,” Ruggieri explained. “Consuming. That’s why you really need to love it. Because to do a job you don't love, at this pace and cadence, this intensity, is hard. And it breaks you, eventually.”

All that being said, does Ruggieri have any actual regrets? “I would have paced myself slightly. I wish I did a few more things in my 20’s and early 30’s.”

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AUTHORZeno Toulon
  • Si
    SimonW
    23 February 2024

    Of course you'd been fired up when you get millions , ask the people who work for hi. How they feel and get paid peanuts .

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