Nathaniel Rose spent much of his early professional life in number of industries working as a systems programmer, art director and business analyst before becoming an architect and working for Gensler, a leading New York practice. There he contributed to some of the firm’s signature projects including Credit Suisse First Boston’s New York corporate executive floors and Morgan Stanley’s New York corporate headquarters. Ironically, he would later join Morgan Stanley and work in the building he had helped to design as an architect.
To complete his transition into business, Rose decided to study for his MBA. “I had worked as a graphic designer and a computer programmer previously,” he says. “So people could see that I was a ‘whole brain’ thinker who had experience in math, science, art and design, but I felt that I needed to focus, and that if I didn’t, people would still perceive me solely as an architect.” At the same time, Rose wanted to further his understanding of subjects he had never studied on a deeper level, such as strategy, marketing, finance and corporate governance.
Rose was particularly drawn to studying at Oxford because of its internationalism. “I had finished my Bachelors of Architecture in Paris,” he recalls, “and I thoroughly appreciated the international experience I got from that. I realised that by studying abroad there is a wealth of things you can comprehend that you just don’t get if you’re in your own country.”
The one-year MBA programme at the Saïd Business School lived up to his expectations, offering him the chance to work in close-knit teams with students from all kinds of different professional backgrounds and from over 20 countries. Another attraction for Rose was the access he had to the resources of Oxford University – the lectures, the libraries, the faculty and the students. “It was really an exhilarating experience,” he says.
After completing the MBA programme, Rose returned to New York where he provided project management and business process reengineering services for a pharmaceutical firm on a consulting engagement. Once completed, he accepted a position as Vice President of Investment Consulting Services with UBS Financial Services, where he worked for four years in product development.
In the New York post 9/11 environment, he worked on designing and implementing a series of analytics that enabled UBS financial advisers to better manage their clients’ wealth. “Those of us that kept working after 9/11 needed to do more with less,” he explains. “We created a whole suite of materials that enabled financial advisers to have a conversation with their clients. It gave the FAs the tools and opportunity to speak to their clients in a difficult environment.”
Rose is now employed as a vice president at Morgan Stanley. He is the Chief of Staff and chief operating officer to the Managing Director of Global Operations for Private Wealth Management and manages human resources, financial management, quality, efficiency, risk and communications for the group. The Private Wealth Management group operates across the Zürich, London, Singapore, Hong Kong, New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Miami offices of Morgan Stanley, so Rose has to draw on all his intercultural communication skills to ensure that the vision for the group gets executed.
“The term ‘diversity’ is broadly used in the States,” he says “but I really do interface with people in a number of countries around the globe. It’s certainly a challenge in terms of aligning people, practices, technologies, for a single goal – but it’s exciting. The main reason I went to Oxford was to have a global view. I’m very pleased that I’m actually doing that professionally. The Oxford experience really helped me to appreciate that even cultures that seem similar are different. It has certainly helped me to work with colleagues in places such as Zürich and Hong Kong where the business culture is truly different. “