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MSDW breeds new runner in the fund management stakes

Almost four years after its merger with Dean Witter, Morgan Stanley's new-look asset management division is finally taking shape under Mitchell Merin. Bringing the cultures of disparate investment houses under one roof has involved asking headstrong individuals to embrace a team ethic. The new beast may have the potential to achieve its aim of being the world's number one fund manager in all asset classes. Even Europe and Asia, which have so far resisted its advances, could yet succumb. However careful jockeyship will be required to keep star managers happy and the charge on course. Later this year the Morgan Stanley name will oust Dean Witter yet it is Dean Witter alumni who hold the key positions, both in the investment division and in the Morgan Stanley Dean Witter group at large where internal divisions have started to surface. Merin and his team talk exclusively to Julian Marshall

A man on the move says it’s good to talk

After trying to be in four places at once, Morgan Stanley’s chief investment officer, Joseph McAlinden, is looking forward to moving to a permanent base, on the Avenue of the Americas. The foreign language challenge for New York

Morgan Stanley is making its latest attempt to woo UK institutions with the launch of its new multi-asset-class product.

From his office on the 66th floor of Two World Trade Center, Mitchell Merin has a good view on the world. Beyond downtown Manhattan, the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island offer inspiration to the head of Morgan Stanley Dean Witter’s asset management business, should he need it, as he contemplates just how far he has brought the business and where its future lies: outside America.

Late in 1998 Merin was made president and chief operating officer of the group’s asset management division and handed the task of unifying a four-pronged business. It comprised Dean Witter’s and Morgan Stanley’s funds, together with the Miller Anderson & Sherrerd and Van Kampen houses, which Morgan Stanley had bought not long before the Dean Witter merger.

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