Peter Akwaboah first made his mark in sports. While in high school in Ghana, he was a multisport athlete. When he reunited with his family in the UK, sports was still an integral part of his personal development.
However, he knew coming from a country with limited resources, his chances of succeeding among his peers who had everything was daunting.
“My peers were better, faster, and stronger, given they had access to better facilities,” he says, according to this blog. Nonetheless, it did not deter him from seeking excellence. And true to his character, he managed to be part of his school’s athletic team.
Akwaboah was an unused substitute in his school’s athletic team. In one competition, he was asked to replace a colleague who didn’t show up. He grabbed the opportunity and set a new record in the high jump category and subsequently represented the UK in global competitions.
“‘This is my big chance,’ I thought—a chance to show everyone I am good enough. I dug deep, remembered everything I had learned in training, and went for it. I broke the school record that day,” Akwaboah recalls.
Born in the UK, Akwaboah was brought to Ghana at a young age. He reunited with his family as a teenager to pursue higher education. He went to the University of Birmingham in the UK, where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and a Master’s degree in Engineering.
He joined Morgan Stanley in 2015 as Chief Operating Officer (COO) for Operations. Before joining Morgan Stanley, he worked as a software developer for many financial institutions in Europe.
After working at Morgan Stanley for a year, he became the Global Head of Shared Services Operations which includes managing the firm’s settlement and payments infrastructure. What’s more, he had an additional role as the chair of Morgan Stanley’s payment risk steering committee and member of the Federal Reserve Bank’s (FRB) Payments Risk Committee.
Akwaboah is now the new chief operating officer for Morgan Stanley’s technology and operations division. In his new position, Akwaboah will oversee the operations and technology strategy for the firm, including a team of 300 people.
“He brings significant experience, knowledge, and leadership skills to this strategically important role having led teams and worked across technology and operations functions during the course of his career,” Rob Rooney, the head of technology, operations, and firm resilience, said in a memo, according to the Business Insider.
Akwaboah has previously worked at Deutsche Bank in a number of Technology roles, including KPMG and IBM. He also worked at Royal Bank of Scotland for 10 years with his most recent role in the Asia Pacific as Chief Operating Officer responsible for Operations, Technology, and Corporate Services across the region.
Finding business opportunities are one of Akwaboah’s hallmark. Thanks to his involvement, Morgan Stanley became one of the banks to co-lead a $3 billion bond sale for Ghana. Before that, the firm had never executed a deal with the government of Ghana.
Being separated by geographical boundaries does not limit Akwabaoha’s ability to undertake philanthropic activities in his country of origin. He is one of the major supporters of a hospital called the Foundation of Orthopedics and Complex Spine in Ghana. The hospital specializes in providing complex spine and joint replacement surgeries to adult and pediatric patients age 9 to 25.
In 2019, Akwaboah was honored with the 2019 Corporate Leadership Award at the FACE List Awards gala during the Pan-African Weekend.