MSCI appoints industry expert Ashley Lester as Global Head of Research

Ashley Lester, Global Head of Research at MSCI
Ashley Lester, Global Head of Research at MSCI

MSCI Inc., a provider of critical decision support tools and services for the global investment community, has appointed Ashley Lester as Global Head of Research and as a member of MSCI’s Executive Committee. Based in London, Mr. Lester will report to Baer Pettit, President.

What is the industry expertise of Lester?

Mr. Lester joins MSCI with over a decade of experience in business leadership, investment management, and multi-asset class investment research. Previously, he spent eight years at Schroders plc in London, most recently as the founding Head of Systematic Investments, in which he led a team managing over $20 billion in equity factor and ESG strategies.

He served in Schroders’ Multi-Asset Investment Group as Head of Multi-Asset Research, leading research into portfolio construction, asset allocation modeling, and capital market assumptions. Prior, Mr. Lester spent two years at MSCI as the Head of Fixed Income and Multi-Asset Class Research, where he managed its researchers covering fixed income, multi-asset class modeling, and valuation, driving the agenda for MSCI’s innovative risk solutions.

Prior, Mr. Lester was Managing Director and Head of Market Risk Analytics at Morgan Stanley, spent several years as an Assistant Professor of Economics at Columbia Business School and Brown University, and served as a Graduate Economist at the Reserve Bank of Australia. He holds a Bachelor of Economics with First Class Honors and the University Medal from the University of Sydney and a PhD in Economics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

“I am thrilled to rejoin MSCI at a time of rapid change throughout the investment industry globally. MSCI is uniquely well-placed to serve the needs of investors and I am looking forward to leading the development of our best-in-class investment insights,” said Mr. Lester.

What does the appointment mean for MSCI?

Baer Pettit, President at MSCI
Baer Pettit, President at MSCI

“Ashley is an innovative thinker and brings with him expertise as an investor, in business leadership and quantitative and qualitative analysis. I am confident that his in-depth knowledge of the financial markets and risk analytics will prove invaluable as we work towards our mission of creating research-based solutions for our clients,” said Mr. Pettit.

In this role as Global Head of Research, Mr. Lester will be responsible for the development of MSCI’s research across the firm’s product lines and client segments of asset managers, asset owners, banks, corporates, hedge funds, insurance companies, and wealth managers.

Mr. Lester will partner closely with MSCI’s product, client coverage, technology, and marketing teams to ensure the continued development of innovative research, analysis, and solutions that aim to help investors navigate a rapidly transforming investment landscape.