Inside Morgan Stanley Investment Management’s ‘Crown Jewel’


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Inside Morgan Stanley Investment Management’s ‘Crown Jewel’

Photo of Morgan Stanley's Dennis Lynch on black background 4x3

Bloomberg/Getty Images; Rachel Mendelson / Insider

Dennis Lynch has long cultivated a reputation for doing things a little differently.

The rock-star investor prefers to avoid the office, maintains a reading library to expose colleagues to different ideas, and administers personality tests to his team. It was early to enter private markets as a mutual fund investor, putting money into Facebook before it went public.

His approach worked: he tripled his clients’ money over a decade from 2010 to 2020, attracting billions in assets. He even closed two funds to new investors, a move more common for master-of-the-universe hedge fund managers.

Amid this growing success, Lynch increasingly avoided dealing with the cultural challenges of his Counterpoint Global team, Dakin Campbell and Danielle Walker reported. This left the lieutenants yelling, intimidating and exercising power over their colleagues, according to their article.

The turning point of 2022 brought a harsh light to Lynch’s investment and team building strategy. Some of his funds were down 40% from January 1 to March 14, and his portfolio assets fell sharply.

Now Lynch faces what has probably been the biggest challenge of his illustrious career so far.

Here, Dakin and Danielle explain their takeaways to us.

What is the most important thing readers should take away from this story?

Danielle: Cultural issues are often overlooked when a star team or manager is stealing high performance. If this streak ends, any cracks in the foundation may be more difficult for the team to smooth out.

Did you learn anything in your report that surprised you?

Dakin: Morgan Stanley has spent years marketing Dennis Lynch as a bookish portfolio manager in charge of something more like a think tank or college group than an investment team. So I was surprised when our sources told us that some of Lynch’s top lieutenants have been known to bully, yell at, and bully their colleagues and contacts. It’s always amazing when reality is so different from a carefully crafted image – and this time was no different.

What do you think the drop in assets and performance will mean for Lynch and his team?

Danielle: As one analyst we interviewed mentioned, investors will only weather turbulence for so long, even knowing they are in a volatile fund. Within the company, the Counterpoint Global team has historically enjoyed a rare degree of autonomy at Morgan Stanley, according to the sources’ descriptions. As evidenced by longstanding culture concerns surfacing, performance issues have a way of mitigating the halo effect of an investment team.

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Elon Musk talks about war, nuclear energy and the ideal guest

Mathias Döpfner talks to Elon Musk at Tesla's Gigafactory in Berlin.

Jason Henry

In a conversation with Mathias Döpfner, CEO of Insider parent company Axel Springer, Elon Musk discussed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, space travel and what makes human beings specials.

The Tesla and SpaceX CEO shared his biggest fears (death is not one of them) and his revelation that “to be fully happy” you have to be happy at work and happy in love. (Musk himself is “moderately happy,” he said.)

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Older millennials (again) have the end of the stick

toddler sleeps on mom while mom looks at her iPhone

Ray Kachatorian/Getty Images

When they started their careers, between 2008 and 2010, older millennials were beset by the worst


from the Great


. Then, two years ago, they faced a huge hurdle at a pivotal time in their careers when the economy plunged into another recession at the start of the pandemic. Now they are in the worst place in the home buying market.

Adults aged 32 to 41 were the only group under 50 for whom house prices rose faster than incomes last year. The typical house they bought in 2021 became 5% more expensive, while they only earned 4.4% more.

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The C-suite is changing

A character in red stands out in front of a number of blue characters (image for the new sequel)

erhui1979/Getty Images

For decades, the C-suite has focused on three core business areas: Leadership (CEO), Money (CFO), and Operations (COO). But as America calls on companies to pay attention to workers’ mental health, consider how they affect the environment and prioritize diversity, that pattern is changing.

Enter the new era of the C-suite, or “new suite”: one with a Chief Purpose Officer, a Chief Knowledge Officer, a Chief People Officer and even a Chief Joy Officer.

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