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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Morgan Stanley Fund Biz Gains Press

News summary by MFWire's editors

The most recent article on Morgan Stanley's fund business manages to quote John Mack and James Gorman but altogether overlook the recent start date of Ellyn McColgan. That said, the WSJ's Diya Gullapalli penned an interesting take on the executive shuffle at Morgan Stanley Investment Management and Van Kampen in today's FundTrack.

While Gullapalli mentions some of the recent executive moves at MSIM and Van Kampen -- including: Jerry Miller being named chief of the Van Kampen funds; Randy Takian being named head of MSIM's retail and intermediary business; and the departure of Michael Kiley, the former chief of Van Kampen -- she leaves out two others, including the possible catalyst for all the activity.

In February, John Mack reassigned then MSIM chief Owen Thomas to take over as CEO of MS Asia. Mack named Stuart Bohart, Jay Mantz and Stephen Trevor to co-lead Morgan Stanley Investment Management at that time. Bohart now heads all MSIM business outside of merchant banking, which is co-headed by Mantz and Trevor. Bohart is a 42-year-old with a background in alternative investments and hedge funds who joined Morgan Stanley in 1997.

Last week, Michael Spangler, the head of Morgan Stanley Investment Management's U.S. retail product group, announced he was leaving for Nationwide. Morgan Stanley has yet to announce his replacement.

The biggest omission from Gullapalli's article is the hire of Fidelity's Ellyn McColgan, way back in December. She accepted James Gorman's old position of president and chief operating officer of Morgan Stanley's Global Wealth Management's business. Her hire, followed by Bohart's appointment, may have dashed the hopes of some at MSIM and Van Kampen that thought they had a shot at a near term promotion to Morgan Stanley's top ranks.

McColgan, who was one of the triumverate that led Fidelity in recent years (along with Ned Johnson and Bob Reynolds) until that firm's shake up, will undoubtedly place her mark on the wirehouse. She started at Morgan Stanley last month. The Wealth Management Division is a primary distribution channel for the Morgan Stanley asset management products.

Meanwhile, the article is also fuzzy on Morgan Stanley's plan to "rebuild" its reputation and distinguish its retail-focused Van Kampen brand from its institutionally-focused MSIM line of products. Those who want more detail of this strategy can take a look at a Morgan Stanley powerpoint from 2008 (download here)and also the Morgan Stanley powerpoint for 2006 for comparison purposes. 

Edited by: Erin Kello

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