Arbitration’s role in the complexity of investment and financial products


Dong Gang, the Chief Compliance Officer for China Morgan Stanley


Could you tell us about Morgan Stanley’s China operations and the trends and challenges you are facing?

We are into financial industry. Morgan Stanley is a global financial institution and with 25 years of presence in the country. Morgan Stanley has been very committed to China. We have a significant offshore footprint and a number of platforms, including investment banking, sales and trading, investment management and several joint ventures. We offer first class services to our clients and we have seen, and we would like to continue to see the opening up of China’s financial market, which can increase the capital inflow, boost domestic capital market, increase diversity, improve the standard of investors and, in the long term, investment value to the real economy of China.

With the opening up of China’s financial markets, we do see a lot of potential business opportunities in China. And we definitely want to continue to grow our business. In the meantime, we need to comply with all the laws and regulations. So, our role as a legal compliance officer is very important.

Could you share your experience of managing the legal team at Morgan Stanley?

I have worked at Morgan Stanley for almost eight years, including six years in the Greater China legal team and the recent two years as the chief compliance officer of Morgan Stanley China. Before joining Morgan Stanley, I worked in two international law firms, Shearman & Sterling and Freshfields, as a capital markets lawyer.

My daily job is to supervise compliance of all our legal entities in China, including our wholly owned commercial bank in China, our securities joint venture or our mutual fund joint venture or the PE fund and the QDLP (Qualified Domestic Limited Partner) fund. So, in Morgan Stanley, people in legal and compliance department are trusted advisers to the business and management. So, we aim to work right beside of the business. As the legal and compliance officers are a control function, we need to make sure the firm is doing the right things. We also need to make sure that the firm follows current policies and procedures. So, the ultimate client is the firm, Morgan Stanley, not any particular business unit or the task.

As an arbitrator, what are your views on the increasing number of arbitration in China?

I am the arbitrator of Beijing Arbitration Commission, CIETAC, and Shenzhen International Arbitration Court. It is true that in the past year, the number of financial disputes and investment disputes have increased significantly. My personal view is that frequent defaults were caused by the micro-economic environment, more stringent regulation and supervision by the government and regulators, and the complexity of the financial and investment products. So, arbitration continues to play an important role and we have seen that more and more people are submitting cases to reliable and credible arbitration institutions in China, such as the Beijing Arbitration Commission, which is very efficient.

What is your impression of CBLJ Forum 2019 and what are your key takeaways?

It’s a very good and productive forum. As we see today, we share experiences in compliance management, legal and the actual risk in the financial market, disputes resolutions. China’s cyber securities laws and anti-corruption, and cross-border investment. So, it’s very important that people from different industries to share the experience and look at the real commercial world from different angles.

The opinions expressed by the interviewees are their own and not those of their companies. To watch the interview videos, please visit See the full interview and our coverage on CBLJ Forum 2019 here