MiB: Ellen Zentner on being “the calm voice in the room.”

Ellen Zentner, the chief U.S. economist at Morgan Stanley, discusses how the US presidential election has impacted the firm’s global clients. “You must remain the calm voice in the room, coming back to the fundamentals, fundamentals, fundamentals. Let’s keep emotions and feelings out of it.”  She says that has been extraordinarily difficult post election, with emotions running so high.

This is not Zentner’s first brush with panicked clients: She had a front row seat to the financial crisis while at Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi. The cash rich Japanese banks, which had their own financial crisis decades prior, were able to take large stakes in several US banks and brokers. The Mitsubishi United Financial Group took a large stake in Morgan Stanley during the crisis. Since that investment, Morgan Stanley has become a much more international brokerage, with increasing numbers of overseas clients. These are the folks she refers to when she says we need to “keep emotions out” of investing.

Zentner also explains why Texas came through the financial crisis so well, courtesy of its rainy day fund. Her career took her from the Texas Comptroller’s office to Morgan Stanley, where she leads the North American Economics group. She said starting in government gave her time to think “deep thoughts” and develop her analytical approach.

She gives a good explanation as to why “being a nice person” is so important in finance industry if you want to get ahead professionally and be rewarded; her favorite book for investors can be found here.

You can stream/download the full conversation, including the podcast extras, on iTunesBloombergOvercast and Soundcloud.

Our earlier podcasts can all be found on iTunesSoundcloudOvercast and Bloomberg.



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