K. Okazawa

Executive Director, Legal and Compliance

Ms. Okazawa joined the firm in 2008 and has been involved in a number of significant regulatory projects. She currently manages the Financial Crimes team, which is part of the global organization responsible for development and governance of the firm’s financial crime prevention efforts across all regions and business units. This group covers anti-money laundering, sanctions and anti-corruption compliance programs. Additionally, she is a member of the management team in the Legal and Compliance Division which oversees administration and operational running of the division, and also serves as a Co-Chair of Women’s Business Alliance, one of the employee networks in Japan. 

What is the most fulfilling aspect of your work?

I like new challenges and love the feeling of accomplishment when working with colleagues to meet those challenges and reach our goals. My role gives me different perspectives through my interactions with various stakeholders. Answers to certain issues are not always crystal-clear and one needs to consider many factors. The environment at Morgan Stanley motivates me to learn new things, gain understanding of areas outside of my immediate coverage, and allows me to be more creative to meet future challenges. Morgan Stanley is a truly global firm and working with colleagues across the globe on projects is certainly a rewarding experience.

How would you describe the firm’s culture?

Morgan Stanley is a place filled with potential and possibilities. The people here exhibit integrity and do the right thing, which are penetrated throughout the organization from the top. I found that you are given great opportunities and support which lead you to develop your career in many ways and expand your horizon dramatically. There are so many talented people you can learn from and share a sense of accomplishment.  

How do you work with others on your team to “Put Clients First”?

My team and I sit down together to try to understand the needs and demands first and then discuss the best ways we can contribute to the objectives. Collaborating closely and effectively with the team and others is critical in order to come up with exceptional ideas for “Putting Clients First.”

Have you found mentors at the firm? How have they shaped your experience here?

Yes. I believe having mentors whom you trust and respect is one of the key things you need to really grow your career. Morgan Stanley is filled with talented people and I have been inspired by many of them. I am fortunate to have opportunities to work with such people and consider them as my mentors both formally and informally. I seek guidance and opinions from them directly, which helps me sharpen my skills, clear my mind and stay motivated.

Do you participate in any of the employee networking groups and how has your experience affected you?

I have taken on a role as Co-Chair of Women’s Business Alliance in Japan since 2018 and participate in planning and organizing its networking events both internally and externally. Interacting with people from different areas has helped me understand diversity, have a wider perspective and unique insights, and also learn more about the firm. 

Tell us about the importance of “Giving Back” – both at the firm and for you personally.

“Giving Back” is one of our core values and I believe we should always keep this in mind. It is important to spare time to think about what you can do for others and take actions no matter how small the impact may be. Sharing knowledge and know-how you have gained to date is another way of giving back, and helping others to develop their skills is a truly rewarding experience which will also lead to self-improvement.

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