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Morgan Stanley Appoints Gokul Laroia as Asia Pacific Co-CEO

Morgan Stanley (MS) appointed Gokul Laroia as Asia-Pacific co-chief executive officer to replace William Strong, who is retiring in May.

Laroia, 47, becomes head of the region excluding Japan with Wei Sun Christianson and will retain his current responsibilities as head of the New York-based firm’s institutional equity and wealth-management business, Nick Footitt, a Hong Kong-based spokesman, said by telephone.

Strong, 61, will remain as a senior adviser at the firm, Footitt said, confirming an internal memo. Strong, who has been at Morgan Stanley since 1993, and Christianson were named to lead the bank’s operations in the region in March 2011.

During his three-year tenure, Strong oversaw the firm’s expansion in Indonesia and exit of businesses in India as Morgan Stanley sought to cut costs and improve return on equity. In 2012, the firm started its local equities business in Indonesia. Last year, it sold its domestic wealth management and mutual-fund business in India and surrendered an Indian banking license.

Morgan Stanley already had banking and capital markets operations in Indonesia prior to establishing the domestic institutional equities business, which Laroia oversees.

Management Committee

Laroia, who is based in Hong Kong, joined Morgan Stanley in 1995 and was earlier this month appointed to the firm’s global management committee. He was co-head of investment banking in the region for almost two years through April 2011, after serving as head of global capital markets for Asia between 2006 and 2009. Prior to that, he was head of mergers and acquisition for Asia-Pacific, excluding Japan.

Strong joined Morgan Stanley to run North American investment banking offices outside New York. He was previously head of international investment banking at Salomon Brothers, based in London. He joined Salomon in 1979 in New York.

Last year, Strong was named by Hong Kong Chief Executive C.Y. Leung as a member of the newly established Financial Services Development Council, a 22-person committee tasked with the development of the city’s financial services industry.

Strong graduated from Purdue University in 1973 with a Bachelor of Science and has a Master of Business Administration degree from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

To contact the reporter on this story: Cathy Chan in Hong Kong at kchan14@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Chitra Somayaji at csomayaji@bloomberg.net

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