Whether it’s managing money, financial planning or acting as the CFO for a select group of successful individuals and their families, trusts and businesses, as a Vice President – Wealth Management & Senior Portfolio Manager – Mellany Bagtas’ motto is, “Always deliver more than expected”. Her leadership is dedicated to conducting first-class service in a first-class way at Morgan Stanley. Mellany’s impressive career and experience in financial services began after she graduated magna cum laude from Mount Saint Mary College with a BA in business administration with a concentration in finance. She began working in the financial industry as a banker for JPMorgan Chase. She then spent ten years at Merrill Lynch, working her way up to a successful role as vice president and wealth management advisor.
Mellany served on the board of directors and is the past president of the Hudson Valley Estate Planning Council. She also served on the board of St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital Foundation, was a member of the board of trustees for the Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley, and is an active volunteer for several other nonprofit organizations. She explains, “I always go above and beyond what people expect from me, and what I expect from myself. I never settle for mediocrity. If I’m going to do something, I do it with a lot of accountability and passion.” This motto has certainly served her and her clients well.
From a small Wall Street partnership to becoming a global firm of more than 60,000 employees today, Morgan Stanley has been committed to clients and communities for 85 years.
In an interview conducted between Mellany Bagtas and CIOLOOK to help businesses and institutions build, preserve & manage wealth so they can pursue their financial goals.
Below are the highlights of the interview:
Please brief our readers about your leadership position at the company.
I’m a Financial Advisor, Vice President-Wealth Management and Senior Portfolio Manager at Morgan Stanley.
Being an experienced business leader, what is your opinion regarding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on your industry? And how has your company managed to overcome this significant challenge?
Covid has been tough for many people and countless industries. The financial industry is not an exception. I would say that many people, in the beginning, found it difficult to work from home. But eventually due to advancements in technology, and for having an already in place capability to work from home even before the pandemic, helped employees in our company to adjust to the new normal. We realized and have proven that we are able to perform effectively and efficiently and even reach new heights in revenues and net new assets even with the challenge of working from home.
What is your thought on the necessity of a positive work culture? In what ways do you implement it at your organization?
Positive work culture is imperative to a successful business. My business has a lot of ups and downs. You go through several peaks and valleys and remaining positive will keep you sane and focused. Focusing only on the things you can control helps you eliminate the need to worry and effectively manage your stress.
In what ways have you contributed to the community? If given a chance, what change would you bring to help other companies?
I have served and led several non-profit boards in my community. Worked in several fund-raising events and community awareness. With my busy schedule, I try to welcome speaking engagements that let me impart my knowledge in financial planning, the markets, and wealth management.
What would be your advice for aspiring and emerging women entrepreneurs in your industry?
You have to believe in yourself and know that there are no limits to what you can accomplish. Keep pushing yourself and you’ll be amazed at what you’re capable of doing and achieving. Never feel like a victim, instead be and act like a winner.
Have you in any ways contributed towards the cause of women empowerment.
I have done several seminars and speaking engagements at numerous women events, teaching women to take control of their financial lives and make better decisions when it comes to their finances. As women become more and more successful, independent, and self-sufficient, being able to make sound financial decisions is imperative.