New York: Morgan Stanley just beat JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. for a second straight year in one of Wall Street’s most competitive businesses — and it’s poised to win again in 2019. Its secret: Quirky dealmakers wielding a spigot of private money.

The bank is the world’s top stock underwriter, a title that in recent years has shifted between JPMorgan, Goldman and Bank of America Corp. until Morgan Stanley narrowly claimed it in 2017, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. In coming weeks, Morgan Stanley is set to handle one of this year’s marquee deals, the initial public offering for Uber Technologies Inc., making it even harder for competitors to catch up.

While the firm’s success in 2018 was fuelled in part by stock sales for companies abroad, including in Asia, the rainmaker to watch this year is Michael Grimes, who co-leads the US technology franchise. He and colleagues have been tending relationships with a slew of big tech firms heading to market, such as Palantir Technologies Inc, by helping the ventures tap into the bank’s wealthy clientele and sovereign wealth funds for funding, giving their businesses more time to mature before going public.