Michel Antakly craves routine as an antidote to the hurly-burly of deal making. Every Saturday the senior managing director of Morgan Stanley’s M&A division plays tennis with his coach for two hours. Antakly devotes Sundays to his wife and two daughters at their family home in London, where he’s lived for virtually his entire 24-year career at Morgan Stanley.

During that time the soft-spoken banker, who holds French and Lebanese citizenship, has worked on many of Europe’s top M&A deals. But Antakly, 47, has never chased big management jobs or flashy titles. “I like being close to my clients, earning their trust and helping to guide them through the complex strategic and tactical issues surrounding M&A and corporate finance transactions,” he says. “I like the relationship-building aspect as much as the deal-making aspect.”

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