Morgan Stanley chiefs in good voice for fund-raiser
Investment bank helps raise more than HK$1.5 million
More than 60 Morgan Stanley executives belted out Christmas carols for Operation Santa Claus at IFC Mall on Friday as part of their corporate efforts in raising over HK$1.5 million for the city's needy.
After dashing from the high-finance hubbub of their Central office building, most members of the Morgan Stanley Directors' Choir only had time to put on a red scarf before taking the stage at the atrium in the shopping mall.
Leading the choir was Hans Schuettler, chief executive of Morgan Stanley Asia, who proudly announced that more than HK$1.5 million was raised ahead of the performance - HK$500,000 more than last year. 'We are very glad to be a part of Operation Santa Claus again this year and show our commitment to the community,' he said.
As an annual tradition now in its fifth year, the investment bank's department heads and managing directors are sponsored for singing in public through an intranet where employees make competitive pledges.
In 30 minutes of passionate singing, the choir gave their interpretation of six Christmas classics including Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Jingle Bells.
Hundreds of passers-by, guests and family members sporting cameras warmly applauded each song, although the amateur singers were a bit off the beat when singing White Christmas.
'You can tell some people are natural singers. But it is always a good try, especially for doing something meaningful for charities,' said Sophia Leung, head of the firm's charity committee.
As a long-term supporter of Operation Santa Claus, the investment bank this year will fund St James' Settlement, which offers treatment to developmentally delayed children in low-income families, among many other projects for the needy.
'The project proposed by St James' Settlement is in line with the interests of our staff,' Ms Leung said.
'We will encourage our employees to contribute their time and skills to do voluntary work for the kids rather than simply make out a cheque.'
The performance featured conductor and soloist Irene Chang from the bank's private wealth management department and pianist Matthew Collingwood of global infrastructure.
Filling out the choristers were children from the Society for the Protection of Children.
Aside from the choral event, the company has also been raising funds through an internal online game, in which employees can pledge donations and compete for prizes ranging from dining vouchers to luxury hotel stays.