Morgan Stanley merges funds biz under Tokyo

Paul Klug adds non-Japan Asia to his fief as the firm pushes regionalization.

Paul Klug, executive director and COO at Morgan Stanley Asset Management in Tokyo, has assumed responsibility for non-Japan Asia as well in a move to regionalize operations. TS Lee, his counterpart in Singapore, now reports directly to Klug. Previously both men reported to Richard Powers, global head of client services for the asset management arm in New York.

"Dick decided we needed a regional approach," Klug explains. "TS and I agreed." The reorganization was first considered a year ago as part of a general attempt by Morgan Stanley to better integrate its various business units.

Klug will now be responsible for the firm's regional business development, from strengthening institutional and retail distribution in established markets such as Hong Kong to exploring business possibilities in China and Korea. Lee will remain the firm's point man in conducting those tasks. "I give TS a lot of latitude," Klug says. He declined to detail the firm's thinking about new opportunities.

The firm will retain its fund management operations in Japan, Singapore and India, but will merge functions such as product manufacturing and client support, which can be done more efficiently on a regional basis, he says. This shift does not involve cost cutting or headcount reductions, however.

Rather, the emphasis is on trying to make different offices more aware of the firm's expertise. For example, says Klug, the firm wants portfolio managers in Europe to be more aware of what Japan-based analysts are writing, and to help its global distribution partners better understand the investment capabilities of, say, the Singapore operation.

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