Morgan Stanley Dean Witter (MWD ) has emerged as a major player on the European investment banking stage. A big factor in that rise has been a lawyer: Amelia C. Fawcett. Since joining Morgan Stanley in 1987, in London, Fawcett has helped guide the bank's metamorphosis from a small, money-losing operation into a giant with annual revenues of $3.9 billion. "It has been fascinating watching the firm grow up," she says.
Fawcett, 45, began by doing legal work on the bank's deals. But she showed such a wide range of talents that she was asked to take on portfolio after portfolio. Now she is Morgan Stanley Europe's unofficial chief operating officer, cajoling rival departments to work together. "My role is consensus building," she says. One of her biggest projects was preparing the bank for the switch to the euro. That put Fawcett, 45, in charge of not only grunt work--e.g., reprogramming computers--but also figuring out how Morgan Stanley could cash in on this new capital market. She helped draw up plans for importing the credit analysts, securitization experts, and other specialists for the Europe office.
Fawcett has also won friends and influence through her work outside the office. She helped shape the responsibilities of Britain's new Financial Services Authority and now advises on the "new deal"--London's ambitious effort to shift people from the welfare rolls to work. The government recently showed its appreciation by making her a Commander of the Order of the British Empire.
A native of Massachusetts, Fawcett says that, in another life, she might have ended up as a senator from the Bay State. "I come from a family that fundamentally believes in community service," she notes.
Instead, she has become a dual British-American citizen. by all accounts, she is serving her adopted country well.