Bull Bear Report Mar 24 2011

Praise Be: Morgan Stanley MD Goes Gospel

By kyle stock

Don't let anyone tell you Wall Street has no soul.

Carla Harris, a 23-year Morgan Stanley veteran, has just released her third full-length gospel album on iTunes.

Goldman Sachs' analyst/rapper Allen Mask may have brought his firm some colorful publicity, but Morgan Stanley is working to improve its status with a higher power.

"It's original gospel and it's hot," said Harris, a 48-year-old managing director in bank's investment management arm, where she advises companies and public pension managers on their portfolios.

Harris started singing as a child in Jacksonville, Fla. She sang her way through Harvard and Harvard Business School and stuck with it as she started her career an analyst at Morgan Stanley.

She sang in New York churches and clubs -- even Carnegie Hall. In fact, Harris occasionally croons for her clients.

"I try to graciously decline, but if I'm pressed, I'll do it," she said. "I bring Carla the singer wherever Carla the banker goes."

This week's release follows "Joy Is Waiting," Harris's latest effort from 2005 and "Carla's First Christmas," her first album from 2000. The newest installment is titled "Unceasing Praise" and sells for $9.99. All of the proceeds go to a Catholic school in the Bronx and the high school Harris attended in Florida.

If you work under Harris, you'd be smart to get it on your iPod. Or, go see her belt it out on Sunday's at the Church of St. Charles Borromeo at 211 West 141st Street in Manhattan, just west of 7th Avenue -- a long ways from Wall Street.

Write to Kyle Stock

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