Christopher Bracken - Mountbatten Program

Christopher Bracken

Christopher Bracken

Alum Of The Month

Program: London

Intake: August 2012

Current Role: Global Wealth Management Finance Risk Lead at Morgan Stanley


What and where did you study before your Mountbatten internship?
I studied at Loyola University Maryland (Baltimore, MD), where I received a Business Degree, with a dual concentration in Marketing & International Business.

What made you apply for the Mountbatten program?
I had been to London a few times while studying abroad and always wanted to explore more, but there was only so much you can do in a week-long visit.  I knew I had a lot of areas I needed to explore.  I then learned about Mountbatten at an on-campus career fair at my university, and thought it was a once in a lifetime opportunity.  I remember I was nervous about my interview, which I thought was going well until my mom picked up the phone and started talking, at which point I had written that team off – but I was surprised that my sponsor team ended up picking me!

Describe your sponsor company and your role within it. 
While working in London, I was sponsored by UBS, and my role was spread across the Marketing Business Management and eChannel Solutions teams.  Initially, I was responsible for working through measuring the return on investment for marketing campaigns.  As the year went on, I became more involved in coordinating the delivery of email marketing campaigns and conducting compliance reviews of client emails.

What was the highlight/most memorable moment of your working experience during this year?
When I was at UBS, they went through a massive restructure, that led to a lot of volatility and change for me.  It was incredibly unnerving, and I lost faith that I knew what I was doing.  But looking back, it set me up for future success, as it taught me to be flexible, to think on my feet, and to establish a solid network that I could rely on.  I don’t think I would’ve gotten through that period without the help of the New York Mountbattens (Nikki and Claudio) who I ended up talking with almost daily at one point as we were all learning the new deliverables we inherited.  On a more positive note, I also had the opportunity to work and visit Wimbledon with the Events Marketing team was also pretty incredible!

What was the social highlight/most memorable moment during this year?
This is probably pretty cliché at this point, but I think in general, it was all of the friends I made.  I know I don’t get to talk to them as often as I’d like to, but when we do connect, it feels like no time has passed since our nights out and the Sunday struggles, but I know at the end of the day, we have each other’s backs and will be there for each other.

Please share a little wisdom/philosophy that you acquired during your internship 
One of the best pieces of advice I was given by my managers during my internship, was that only foolish people don’t ask any questions.  I’ve kept this attitude and have not been shy about admitting to not knowing things, even though what I’m asking might be considered as common knowledge.  I’ve found this useful throughout my career as I’ve taken on new roles, ultimately making me a better team contributor.

Upon reflection, what do you consider has been the biggest impact of your Mountbatten year?
Outside of everything I’ve already mentioned, I think one of the most significant impacts has been an increase in my confidence.  Before my Mountbatten year, I was a bit more reserved, and tended to not reach out to new people.  Going to a new city forced me to branch out and meet new people from all over, and I’ve constantly tried to form new relationships as a result.

What happened after completing the year – what did you do next?
After completing my Mountbatten experience, I secured a position with Morgan Stanley as a Product Controller for Fixed Income Products in the Baltimore office.  The best way I can describe that role, is that it’s similar to a ‘glorified’ accountant – supporting the front office from a P&L and accounting perspective.  I spent about nine years at Morgan Stanley split between Baltimore and New York covering many different desks, and then spent a year at Bank of America in a similar finance role, before returning to Morgan Stanley.

Where are you now in your working life and what do you do?

I recently returned to Morgan Stanley, where I took on the Global Finance Risk Lead role, covering Wealth Management Finance and Investor Relations.  In this role, I cover the finance teams from a risk perspective, making sure all processes are running as safely as possible, any errors are captured and report, and help to develop and implement new controls to mitigate any outstanding risks.

Do you have any future plans that you would like to realise & what are they (career & social)?
Career-wise, I am mainly focusing on learning the ins and outs of my new role which has been keeping me busy.  Personally, I’m looking to start to train to run a half marathon (which I keep putting off – but hoping 2024 is going to be my year – we’ll see how that goes).  Also, the thing I am looking forward to most is moving in with my significant other (we’ll see how long he can put up with my quirks once we do though)..

What would people be surprised to learn about you?
This might be a pretty tough question, since I’m probably a bit more on the boring side – but if I had to say something, just by judging from my co-workers reaction – is that my favourite food is Chicken Nuggets and Gummy Bears.  Always a sucker for them from any chain or brand – and I am fully aware I have the eating habits of a four year old.

Is there any other information that you would like to be included?
That is unfortunately not my dog in the photo, but an Instagram influencer, who happened to do a meet & greet when they visited NYC from Canada – but he’s too much of a good boy to not send a photo with him around.