Helping the community (and building her own!) through United Way
Audrey Arthur has been a Financial Advisor with Morgan Stanley since 2016. She was born and raised in Ghana, West Africa and moved to the U.S. in 2013, after graduating from college in Ghana. She first lived in Harrisburg, PA before moving to Pittsburgh and obtaining her MBA from the University of Pittsburgh. She currently lives in Wexford, PA.
How did you get into the field of finance?
I started out in Retail Banking and did that for about a year. During that time, I came to admire the wealth managers who were coming into our branch and it got me thinking about going into Wealth Management myself. So, I applied to graduate schools all over the country and got admission with a scholarship from the University of Pittsburgh. After finishing my MBA, I accepted a position in Wealth Management with Morgan Stanley.
What’s your favorite part about your job?
I love that when someone walks through the door with a problem — whether it’s how to get to a certain level of wealth, how to manage their wealth, or how to distribute their wealth — I can offer them solutions. The most enjoyable part is the trust I can build with clients. I love when my clients introduce me to their families and our work together becomes a family affair. Those multi-generational relationships are very rewarding.
How have you liked living in Pittsburgh?
It was very difficult at first, because of the communication factor and because I didn’t know how to do the simplest of things, like order at a restaurant or take a number when going to the DMV. Now that I understand how people live and behave in the United States, I’ve really grown to love Pittsburgh. I love living in Wexford because there is a sense of community there that feels similar to what I knew in Ghana. Because I’m from so far away and I’m working so hard to establish a feeling of home, it’s been a great place for me.
What do you like to do outside of work?
I enjoy working on improving my American Sign Language. My close friend in Ghana has a little sister who is deaf, and we couldn’t communicate. So, I learned American Sign Language a few years ago. I’ve taken classes at Western Pennsylvania School of the Deaf as well as the Center for Hearing & Deaf Services in uptown Pittsburgh, where I’m now on the board. I didn’t tell my friend or her sister that I was learning American Sign Language and the first time I went back to Ghana and started signing, they were absolutely shocked! I’m definitely very interested in improving my American Sign Language further.
How did you get involved with United Way?
I network a lot through my work for business development, and because of that I’ve come across a lot of different organizations in Pittsburgh. I decided that I wanted to pick only a few of them to dedicate my time to and to form some real relationships with. The first one I picked was United Way. I liked that there are so many different sub-groups within the organization and that it offers so many networking opportunities. They also have such a great reputation.
How have you been able to participate with United Way?
I was fortunate to have been selected for the United Way’s WLC Together Leading Program, which is for young professionals who aspire to be members of the Women’s Leadership Council. We focus on participating in volunteer opportunities for the Pittsburgh region. I’ve also been on the planning committee for United Way’s annual Games for Good event. I loved being around other young professionals as well as the kids we served. Plus, with my work and the business development I do, I started hanging out with United Way’s Next Gen group and that’s been great for me. I’ve met so many really accomplished young professionals, and I’ve appreciated that opportunity.
Do you have a favorite United Way memory?
When we were planning the Games for Good event for 2019, we spent so much time creating the agenda and schedule. Then we showed up on the day of the event and saw that the kids weren’t thinking about the schedule — they were just there to have fun. It was really nice to be a kid again in that moment and not stress about what we needed to do and just have a wonderful time. It was so special and it reminded me that we were there for the kids.
What is it specifically about United Way’s work that you like?
I love the way the organization continues to positively impact the community. I wanted to be a part of an organization that was making a difference, not one that was hosting events just to check off a box. There are so many stories of people who have called on United Way for help and gotten the help they needed, and it touches your heart. You realize you’re a part of something that’s way bigger than yourself and way bigger than the organization itself. United Way’s work spreads into people’s lives, and it’s so great to be a part of it.
Audrey Arthur is a Financial Advisor with the Global Wealth Management Division of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney in Pittsburgh. The information contained in this article is not a solicitation to purchase or sell investments. Any information presented is general in nature and not intended to provide individually tailored investment advice. The strategies and/or investments referenced may not be suitable for all investors as the appropriateness of a particular investment or strategy will depend on an investor’s individual circumstances and objectives. Investing involves risks and there is always the potential of losing money when you invest. The views expressed herein are those of the author and may not necessarily reflect the views of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC, Member SIPC, or its affiliates.