Morgan Stanley GC In SE Asia Heads For Blake Dawson Law Firm

Finance Asia is reporting that Greg Terry, currently a senior adviser to Morgan Stanley for Southeast Asia, is leaving the US investment bank to join Australian law firm Blake Dawson as an international partner based primarily in Jakarta, sources say. His appointment is expected to be announced today and he will take up his new position at the beginning of next month.

The report / press release goes on to say

A lawyer by training — he is admitted to practice in Victoria in Australia, England and Wales, Hong Kong, and Washington State in the US — it is not surprising that Terry is choosing to return to his legal roots at a time when the global investment banking industry is undergoing its most severe downsizing in decades. However, Terry’s entire professional career, which spans more than 40 years, has been marked by a series of seemingly effortless moves between the banking, legal and corporate worlds, providing the well-liked Australian with a rare set of skills and perspectives that would make him an excellent addition to any firm in either of these sectors.

He has also dabbled in public service, starting his professional life as a diplomat with the Australian foreign service, where from 1966 to 1973 he had postings in Laos, the US, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. For a time in the 1970s, he was also chief of staff to Gough Whitlam, a former prime minister of Australia.

Terry has spent the past five years with Morgan Stanley, first as general counsel for Asia-Pacific, and later as chief operating officer for Asia and chairman for Southeast Asia. A key motivation for joining the US investment bank, he said at the time of his hire, was the chance to work with Alasdair Morrison, then chairman and CEO for the region, who he had previous worked with at Jardine Matheson.

His positions as COO for Asia and chairman for Southeast Asia allowed Terry to play a leading role in establishing Morgan Stanley’s operations in Vietnam, the Philippines and Indonesia. As general counsel, his responsibilities spanned 16 Asian jurisdictions, with particular emphasis on capital markets transactions and mergers and acquisitions. He also represented Morgan Stanley at the highest levels dealing with Asian governments, regulators and business leaders.

In December 2008 he passed on the Southeast Asia chairmanship role to Richard Ong and assumed the role of senior adviser for the region.

A source familiar with the hire at Blake Dawson, stresses Terry’s vast experience and extensive networks within the business world and with regulators in Asia and beyond, and notes that his experience in advising businesses during previous financial downturns will add depth to the law firm’s practice in Asia and Australia.

Indeed, Terry got first-hand experience with regard to restructurings during his three years as CEO of BIL International in Singapore (formerly called Brierley Investments) from 2000 to 2002 — a job that he was appointed to by the Hong Leong Group, which was a major shareholder. BIL was in financial difficulties due to the collapse of Air New Zealand and Terry was charged with stabilising the company and returning it to profitability, a feat he achieved in little over two years.

In between BIL and joining Morgan Stanley in June 2004, Terry was a partner of Lovells law firm for a year, heading up its Asian corporate practice.

Between 1997 and 2000, he worked at Credit Suisse First Boston, where he was a managing director in Australia and vice-chairman of the Pacific Region. During this time he worked on the privatisation of Telstra, the listing of AMP and a number of M&A transactions.

Prior to this, from 1987 to 1997, Terry was an executive director and chief legal counsel of the Hong Kong-based Jardine Matheson group with responsibility for government and regulatory relations. After the 1987 stock market crash, he worked with the government on the development of Hong Kong’s securities regime and was a member of the stock exchange’s listing committee. At this time, he was also a director of a number of Jardine group companies.