June 17, 2009 / 4:01 AM / 10 years ago

Morgan Stanley eyes changes in prime-brokerage unit-WSJ

June 17 (Reuters) - Morgan Stanley (MS.N) is planning more changes in its prime-brokerage division to get back some of its hedge-fund clients that left the company last year, the Wall Street Journal said.

The company plans to announce as early as Wednesday that hedge-fund clients will be allowed to hold part of their assets in Morgan Stanley Trust National Association, a trust company owned by Morgan Stanley, according to the paper. Previously, such assets were held in the firm’s brokerage units, the paper added.

While Morgan Stanley’s bond and stock prices indicate that investors have grown more confident about the firm, the new option for hedge-fund clients will offer “a belt-and-suspenders approach” for those who still are concerned about protecting their assets, Rich Portogallo, Morgan Stanley’s head of institutional clients and services, told the paper.

Morgan Stanley is expected to charge additional fees for clients that leave their securities in the trust company, the paper said.

Morgan Stanley, which became a bank-holding company last year, lost some of its prime brokerage assets in the weeks after the collapse of Lehman Brothers that shook Wall Street’s broker-dealer model. (Reporting by Chakradhar Adusumilli in Bangalore; By Saeed Azhar)

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