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Industry Spotlight > Women in Wealth

Women in WealthTech: Naureen Hassan of Morgan Stanley Wealth Management

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Before joining Morgan Stanley in 2016, Naureen Hassan was the executive vice president leading Investor Services segments and platforms at Charles Schwab and a member of the firm’s Executive Committee. She also led the team that developed Schwab Intelligent Portfolios, served as COO of Schwab Bank and had leadership roles in Schwab Advisor Services. Prior to the roughly 12 years she was with Schwab, Hassan spent about five years at McKinsey.

“We are redefining the future of wealth management by setting a new standard for client excellence,” she explained. “This winning approach is defined by the combination of people and technology, using the power of technology to support human advisors.”

According to Hassan, technology complements advisors’ strengths “by giving them the ability to automate mundane and administrative tasks, and the ability to scale interactions with clients anytime, anywhere with an enhanced and personalized experience.” She adds: “With over $2 trillion in client assets and our world-class advisors, Morgan Stanley is uniquely positioned to lead the industry and help ensure clients achieve their life goals.”

What is your tech focus? My team’s focus areas span the gamut of digital solutions – from social media, CRM to mobile and AI. Our goal is to invest in the latest technology to help financial advisors better serve their clients and ultimately grow their business.

What technology are you bullish on in the short term? In the short-term, I am most bullish on artificial intelligence and machine learning. Early on, we made it a point to invest heavily in AI through an initiative called “Next Best Action,” which enables client engagement at scale.

Our machine learning engine analyzes all client data for the advisor, and pairs it with pre-written messages that advisors can then personalize for their clients. The platform, which launched in mid-2018, has been a major success for our advisors.

How about longer term? In the longer term, I think AI/natural language processing has the most potential to help our Advisors. The financial services industry is so complex with different rules and regulations by state, and our clients’ lives are even more complex with issues such as elder care, trusts, and estate planning.

Right now, AI is good at crunching mountains of structured data and turning it into insights, but it hasn’t shown that it can process the complex and unstructured data as effective as how our human advisors currently do. It will be very interesting if and when AI can process unstructured data, reason and answer complex questions.

What keeps you up at night? Cybersecurity has to be the issue that keeps any financial services executive up at night. At Morgan Stanley, our top priority is to protect our client’s personal information and their assets.

We have assembled teams including some of the best cybersecurity experts in the business to maximize the impact of our investment and tailor our security technology and practices to the ever-changing risk landscape. We also partner with industry and government organizations to stay ahead of potential threats.

Which woman do you most admire in the field? I most admire Grace Hopper, who was a pioneer in computer programming in an era when most women didn’t even work.

She paved the way for many women to take up careers in tech, and her perseverance in joining the Navy even after they initially rejected her is a lesson for us all. Her passion and determination to challenge the status-quo on gender inequality in the industry resonated with many.

Despite amazing women like Grace, I think we still have a ways to go and have barely scratched the surface. I’m encouraged to see organizations like Girls Who Code who are paving the way for younger generations and hopefully, shaping future women leaders.

What is your go-to source for tech info? For the latest industry news, I like TechCrunch-Fintech. For a solid advisor-focused roundup, Michael Kitces does a great monthly post.

What is your favorite app or tech tool or your job? It would have to be the Morgan Stanley Mobile App.

And off the clock? I’m a mother of two small children, and I outsource everything I can – Instacart for groceries, Amazon for everything from toys to toilet paper, Stitch Fix for casual clothes, Houzz for design ideas for my house remodel.


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