CBA is proud to have alumni leading the way in the classroom, in the community, and across every industry. Each month, we shine a light on one such alumnus who upholds the legacy and proud tradition of our Academy.
This month we spoke with Stephen Scanapicco ‘89, Senior Vice President and Financial Advisor at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management.
At the end of the day, a school is a place for learning. Stephen Scanapicco ‘89 embraced this notion while at the Academy, and continues to put classroom wisdom to practical use today.
“For me the Academy was mostly about the education,” said Scanapicco in an interview. He credits teachers like Greg Higgins (Theology), Fr. Gary Koch (former Theology), and most of all Joe Fili (English) with sharing timeless wisdom between the lines of rigorous coursework.  “How to be responsible for what you’re doing, standing up and taking that responsibility, attention to detail,” Scanapicco recalls. “Spending time learning and not just glazing over the material.”
The constant need to keep t’s crossed and i’s dotted served him well later at Providence College. “[CBA] instantaneously made the transition from high school to college easier because I had the work load prepared already.” That preparation allowed Scanapicco to focus on his own personal and social development—critical components to his future success in client-facing leadership roles.
He graduated in 1993 with a BA in History, a minor in Business Administration, and still some indecision about his future. However, the foundation was set for being able to take on the responsibilities that come from highly visible leadership roles. He spent some time as a store manager at Staples before diving into the world of banking and finance—where his true professional passion would come to fruition.
His Current Responsibilities
“It’s been quite a great ride,” says Scanapicco in reflecting on the last six years.
Starting in 2010 with just his business partner Anthony Valente, one assistant and an intern, Scanapicco has helped build a team of 34 financial professionals responsible for nearly $1.1 billion AUM (as of 12/31/2016) at Morgan Stanley’s Shrewsbury offices. As Senior Vice President, he spends the bulk of his time helping clients build strategies for taking care of their money and their families.
His passion for the role is palpable, and a welcome byproduct of the culture they’re creating. “Part of what we believe is if you really enjoy coming to work everyday, you’re going to be more efficient, you’re going to be better, and it’s going to come naturally.”
Creating that team environment, where professionals can be proactive, efficient, and less afraid to step up, has been the hallmark of Scanapicco’s high-achieving team, which has garnered both local and national attention.
“If you’ve got a good team, you can accomplish just about anything,” he notes.
Looking Ahead: Career Goals, 2017 and Beyond
 “Our growth is something we take a lot of pride in,” said Scanapicco. Growth is a loaded term for personnel, clientele, diversification, and impact in the community. Their focus for the future remains on calculated growth and true blue customer appreciation.
What He Misses Most
Scanapicco notes his good fortune in being able to create the same thing he misses most from the Academy. The camaraderie, seeing colleagues on a constant basis, and taking part in that same team environment at CBA is part of the secret sauce he has worked to create at Morgan Stanley.
“You learn it young and then you try to recreate it for the rest of your life,” he says laughingly. Such camaraderie comes in the form of continual communication amongst the ranks. Every Friday morning includes an all-hands team meeting about market trends, customer concerns, landmarks, goals, and everything they are striving to accomplish.
He does miss some CBA friendships, but remains thankful that outlets like Facebook and LinkedIn have made reconnecting possible.
Prepared For The Road Ahead
Leadership doesn’t develop overnight, but it does have to start somewhere. “It [CBA] was all about the initial building blocks,” says Scanapicco when recalling the greatest value CBA afforded him. “Work ethic, discipline, not only the content of the education but how to handle that education, the workload.”
The constant demand to better one’s self and stay hungry but humble is a key principle for Scanapicco. “It’s more about the name on the front than the name on the back.”
Advice for Today’s Academy Men
Getting your boots on the ground and hands-on experience is the true way to excel, according to Scanapicco. “I think the best thing you can do—whether it’s starting at the high school level and definitely through college—is intern. Intern everywhere, try everything!”
He notes the medley of different opportunities in companies like his; opportunities that only an intern is likely to learn about after getting in the door. “A lot of our team, especially at the younger level, were interns for us at one point,” he says.
Another major reason to intern? Learn what you don’t want to do. “It will give you the opportunity to check something off your list and say ‘alright, maybe I didn’t like that as much as I thought I was going to.’” That “real world” experience may enable current students to return for their remaining semesters, shift their coursework, and explore their other potential interests.
About Christian Brothers Academy:
Christian Brothers Academy (CBA) is a private, Catholic, academic preparatory school for boys located in Lincroft, New Jersey. Founded in 1959 and taught in the Lasallian tradition, CBA prepares young men to be the leaders of tomorrow. Learn more at CBA At-A-Glance.