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Operation Santa Claus

Hong Kong bankers sing their hearts out for a good cause

Morgan Stanley employees raise HK$3 million in charity drive

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 17 December, 2015, 5:12pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 20 December, 2015, 3:53pm

Over 70 singing bankers donned Santa hats and took to the stage at the atrium of the International Commerce Centre.

Singing Yule classics as well as more modern festive tunes, senior managers from Morgan Stanley contributed their vocal chords to the firm’s charity efforts, with contributions from employees going to Operation Santa Claus, a donation drive jointly organised by the South China Morning Post and RTHK.

The choral event concluded Morgan Stanley’s fundraising efforts, which raised a total of HK$3 million.

“We’re very happy with the money we raised, but the singing could do with a bit of work,” said Asia Pacific co-CEO Gokul Laroia, who led the “Morgan Stanley Directors’ Choir”.

READ MORE: Operation Santa Claus: Elderly enjoy a rare outing at Jumbo Kingdom seafood restaurant in Aberdeen

The 13th annual performance of the choir finished with a heartening rendition of We Wish You a Merry Christmas, after a sing-off in which teams at the firm competed for a trophy.

Santa Claus himself made a cameo, alongside nursery school children from the Hong Kong Society for the Protection of Children and members of the charity Silence, which works with the hearing-impaired.

Watch: Morgan Stanley bankers sing their hearts out to raise money for charity

“The whole firm gets really into it, because we all want to give back to the community,” said Laroia, adding that part of the firm’s strategy involves working with local communities, especially children’s charities.

Other fundraising activities included a charity bake auction at which the highest bidder splashed out a hefty HK$53,000.

READ MORE: Party time: staff of UBS investment bank have fancy-dress fun to raise cash for Hong Kong’s underprivileged

Operation Santa Claus is reaching out to 22 charities across Hong Kong and China this year, among which are a number of children’s charities. This is the 19th year Morgan Stanley is participating.

“We like Operation Santa Claus because it is able to affect a large group of charities across the spectrum,” said Caroline Wong, Head of Community Affairs, Asia Pacific.

She added that the excitement generated by the drive across Hong Kong was helping build momentum around the field of Corporate Social Responsibility.

“Asia is still behind the US and Europe, but there’s been a lot of momentum gathering around CSR, especially with causes like Operation Santa Claus,” said Wong, adding that there was “huge” growth in the area.