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Morgan Stanley asset manager hires former NYC pension CIO

Morgan Stanley hired Seema Hingorani, a former chief investment officer of New York City’s pension plans, as a managing director at its more than $500 billion asset-management unit.

Hingorani will help oversee relationships with the firm’s largest clients and create a new training program to develop talent, according to a memo to staff Wednesday. She founded the non-profit Girls Who Invest, and was most recently the investment officer of SevenStep Capital, a venture that took stakes in women- and minority-led asset-management firms that has since been wound down.

“She has a unique background and experience set being an analyst, a portfolio manager, a director of research, a CIO and then the founder of Girls Who Invest,” Dan Simkowitz, the head of Morgan Stanley Investment Management, said in an interview.

Chief Executive Officer James Gorman has made asset management a priority, and Hingorani is the second major former pension executive the firm has brought on board this year. Ted Eliopoulos joined in January after managing the $340 billion investment pool at California Public Employees’ Retirement System, the largest in the country. He was named vice chairman of investment management. The two executives will work with institutions including pensions, insurers and sovereign wealth funds.

Morgan Stanley has also been seeking to add more women to its ranks. Among recent female hires was Tatiana Segal, who came from Skybridge Capital earlier this year to be head of global risk at the New York-based company’s investment-management unit. The division also added Elaine Keenan for Brexit operations oversight.

Pedestrians pass monitors displaying signage outside of Morgan Stanley global headquarters in New York, U.S., on Monday, Oct. 14, 2019. Morgan Stanley is scheduled to release earnings figures on October 17. Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

Hingorani plans to champion a “a culture of diversity across all of the talented investment teams and externally through relationships with some of the firm’s most important institutional clients,” she said in an emailed statement.

Before becoming CIO of New York City’s pensions, overseeing about $160 billion in assets, Hingorani led investments in hedge funds and stocks at the pension system. She worked at asset managers including Andor Capital and Pequot Capital earlier in her career.

Bloomberg News