Kellogg World Alumni Magazine Summer 2008Kellogg School of Management
FeaturesBrand NewsFaculty NewsAlumni ProfilesClass NotesClub NewsArchivesContactKellogg Home
Alumni Profiles
Virginia Clarke '84
Matthew Ginsberg '92
Daniel Sullivan '96
Julie Harris '95
Kristie Paskvan '97
John Schweiger '03
Alumni in the News
Address Update
Alumni Home
Submit News
Internal Site
Northwestern University
Kellogg Search
  Matthew Ginsburg '92
  Matthew Ginsburg '92

Alumni Profile: Matthew Ginsburg '92

At home in Asia

Global banker Matthew Ginsburg's '92 career is marked by two decades of change in region

By Kari Richardson

Sometimes one pivotal experience is all it takes to shape a life.

For Boston native Matthew Ginsburg '92, that experience was studying abroad in Japan as a college undergraduate. Until this trip, Ginsburg's international experience had been limited to visits to Canada; since then he's spent nearly all of his adult life living and working in Asia, currently as head of Asia-Pacific investment banking for Morgan Stanley.

Following on the heels of that Japan trip in the 1980s, Ginsburg's international odyssey continued when, a little more than a year into his first job, he was tapped by his bosses at First Boston (now Credit Suisse) to help set up a mergers and acquisitions office in Tokyo.

"I still remember looking at my telephone and seeing the name pop up on the screen," he recalls. "It was about a 30-second conversation because I took the opportunity and grabbed it." His Japanese language skills were helpful to his new role, he says, but more important was his ability to work within a relatively unstructured environment to build a new business.

Since then his international adventures have accelerated. In fact, his longest stay on U.S. soil since his undergraduate days has been two years spent at the Kellogg School earning his MBA — a program that piqued his interest because of its international scope, as well as its ability to supplement his liberal arts education with the academic underpinnings needed to truly understand management and finance.

As he began his Kellogg experience, his time in Asia allowed him to see his home from another perspective, Ginsburg reflects. In addition, the school's team-oriented focus was familiar to — and favored by — an investment banking professional used to working with diverse groups of people.

"As an investment banker, each deal involves a different team. You are constantly examining different businesses and different business models," he says. And investment banking tends to be intense and all encompassing — similar to the life of a Kellogg student, he adds.

As Morgan Stanley's head of Asia-Pacific investment banking since early 2006, from his base in Hong Kong Ginsburg oversees the company's investment banking division across 14 countries, including China, India, Singapore, South Korea, Vietnam, Taiwan and Australia.

His two decades in Asia have represented a period of change, volatility and perhaps above all opportunity for the region. One of his most memorable deals came in 2005 when China began restructuring its financial services industry and Ginsburg was part of the Morgan Stanley team that led the first initial public offering of one of its four largest banks, China Construction Bank. Ginsburg counts the IPO, which raised more than $9 billion, as one of the highlights of his career and a huge victory for Morgan Stanley.

"The transaction helped reposition and strengthen China's banking and financial system," he says.

With Asia's vibrancy and multiculturalism, Ginsburg says it's both enjoyable and challenging to build a common corporate culture throughout all of the offices he leads. "I enjoy the fun of being in different countries, with different people and of having to understand the diverse business environments and regulatory issues all of our clients have to deal with," he says.

"There's tremendous economic growth in the region," he adds. "There are tremendous investment banking opportunities. And even though these are tougher times, the belief is that this is a great place to be building a business."

These days, Ginsburg no longer counts himself as an expatriate, but as someone who has built a life in the region. His wife is a Hong Kong native and his bilingual children spend most of their time with a core group of grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins, as well as their expatriate friends.

"When I land in Hong Kong after a business trip, I get a very strong feeling that I'm back home. After 18 years in this city and 23 in Asia, I know this is where I belong."

Current Student News & Events
View all current news
Subscribe to Kellogg News RSS
©2002 Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University