More than 25 years ago, as a curious teenager, Mandell Crawley landed a high school internship on a relatively small municipal bond sales and trading desk in Chicago. Today, he sits in the global headquarters of Morgan Stanley as Head of Private Wealth Management.
A self-starter by nature, Crawley has spent his entire career at the firm, paving his path from intern to senior leadership with hard work, a collaborative mindset and an appetite for learning new things. Now, as the head of Private Wealth Management, he is tapping a deep well of experience, drawn from multiple businesses and leadership roles, to refine a boutique experience that makes Morgan Stanley the go-to private wealth adviser for some of the world’s most exclusive clients.
While the key to success is rooted in the firm’s fundamental strengths and core values, Crawley also knows that the real differential comes through personal engagement. “This business is all about relationships and trust. We win by putting clients first. The brand of our firm is driven by our people. We are a relationship-based, talent-driven organization at our core.”
This same ability to connect got Crawley, a native of Chicago's West Side, an offer for a full-time job after his high school internship ended. As he was about to start college, the firm offered him the opportunity to work full-time during the day and attend university in the evening.
While in school, finance wasn't initially on his radar. “I was always interested in becoming a teacher, but then I took an economics class. That class, along with the pull of the sales and trading culture, got me really interested in finance,” Crawley says.
He has never looked back.
Crawley has advanced through many roles and businesses over the years. He cut his teeth in fixed-income sales, then honed his management skills in Wealth Management National Sales, and built a reputation for developing a deep rapport with his business partners and clients. “I’ve had a lot of opportunities at Morgan Stanley to learn and grow across many different roles. That’s one of the true hallmarks of this firm: It encourages people to stretch themselves and develop their potential—often in unexpected but extremely productive ways.”
In 2015, he was tapped as Morgan Stanley’s Chief Marketing Officer and charged with leading the firm’s marquee “Capital Creates Change” campaign. “I was excited to play a role in determining how Morgan Stanley could position its brand in the marketplace following the financial crisis,” Crawley says. “It was a good fit for me because I had spent my entire career learning about the firm, our value-add to clients, and our value proposition to society as a whole.”
That story, about how capital can enable innovation, disrupt entrenched markets to create greater efficiencies and value, and channel investment to solve some of the most challenging issues of our time, resonated deeply with Crawley: “It’s a privilege to take a world-class brand and have the opportunity to articulate the role that our firm plays, and the impact on society that we can help our clients create.”
He also focused on a better integration of Marketing and its business partners. His meetings often rang out with the core message: “Marketing strategy reinforces the business strategy, not the other way around.” At the same time, “I saw that we were making strides on the digital front. There was an opportunity to do a lot more there,” he says, and he pushed his team to leverage digital to build and broaden Morgan Stanley’s audience.
Crawley now brings his breadth of experience to Private Wealth Management and the core of its relationship business. “We work with people and families who are very well off and want to invest their wealth. They care about their legacies. They care about issues and causes that are dear to their hearts. They want to make a difference,” he says. “We have the brand, platform, and elite talent to help them address their needs.”
On his office wall, Crawley keeps a list of “Things that matter,” excerpts from which include:
- People first
- Everyone is included
- Leadership matters
Having been mentored himself, Crawley firmly believes in offering guidance to employees across departments and levels. “We win in life with the help of others,” he says, a collegial culture that’s ingrained in most people he encounters at Morgan Stanley.
Crawley extends his giving back beyond the firm, where he also serves on the board of the National Boys and Girls Club and Covenant House NY, which focuses on the fight against youth homelessness. “Helping young people fulfill their dreams is truly a personal and professional passion of mine.”
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