Morgan Stanley has just hired Obama's counter-terrorism guru into an MD role

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Why would Morgan Stanley hire a counter-terrorism expert from the Obama administration who has spent her entire career working for the U.S. military and parachute her in as a managing director?

The U.S. bank has just hired Jen Easterly as a managing director in risk technology. She was previously special assistant to President Obama and senior director for counterterrorism for the National Security Council. In other words, now that Trump is in, she’s come straight from the White House to Morgan Stanley.

The answer to why Morgan Stanley would hire someone who has no banking experience and appoint them as an MD is simple – cyber-security. More specifically, we understand that she’ll be assessing risks to the bank both from a cyber-security perspective and any other external risks that could threaten the technology within the bank.

She’s will not, sources inside Morgan Stanley are keen to point out, have anything to do with tackling terrorism within her new role at the bank.

Easterly’s resume is formidable and she’s generally regarded as something of a guru in the fight against terrorism. Before her last role, she was deputy associate for counter terrorism at the National Security Council, has worked as a commander with the Army Network Warfare Battalion and led the cryptologic support group for various forces in Iraq.

But since Trump’s inauguration large investment banks have taken the opportunity to hire from the Obama administration for cyber-security roles.

In February, Goldman Sachs hired Andy Ozment as a managing director and co-chief information officer. Before joining, Ozment spent nine years working in cyber-security for various U.S. government departments and was latterly assistant secretary for cyber-security and communications for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.


Photo: Getty Images

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