Profile: Matthew Ginsburg '92
home in Asia
banker Matthew Ginsburg's '92 career is marked by two decades
of change in region
one pivotal experience is all it takes to shape a life.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
transaction helped reposition and strengthen China's banking
and financial system," he says.
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,"
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."
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.
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."