Morgan Stanley Looks to Latin America as Global Tensions Rise

Morgan Stanley is increasing its investments in Latin America as geopolitical conflicts elsewhere in the world give the region increasing prominence in the global economy.

Wars in Europe and the Middle East and rising tensions in Asia highlight the importance of Latin America “for reorganizing supply chains and accessing everything from food and industrial metals to transition fuels and pharmaceutical ingredients,” John Moore, who heads the Latin America region for Morgan Stanley, said in an interview.

john moore

Citing “deglobalization” trends around the world, Moore said the bank has “steadily increased our investment in Brazil, Mexico and other Latin America geographies, a trend we expect to see continue” with incremental increases of people and capital.

Morgan Stanley, which also has outlets in Argentina, Chile and Colombia, sees opportunities for investment-banking gains in merger-and-acquisition advice, capital-markets underwriting, sales and trading, and private credit, he said. The New York-based company has about 400 people serving Latin American clients in those business.

One of the five biggest wealth managers for rich individuals from the region, the firm expanded that business’s assets about 6% last year, to roughly $120 billion.

Still, Latin America isn’t immune to volatility. “Obviously there are macro rate headwinds and political transitions throughout the region and globally, with Mexico and Brazil underperforming US markets year-to-date,” Moore said.