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Morgan Stanley Said to Shut Swiss, Nordic Investment Management

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March 3 (Bloomberg) -- Morgan Stanley, the sixth-largest U.S. bank by assets, plans to shut its Swiss and Nordic investment-management units as part of a plan to boost earnings from the division, two people with knowledge of the matter said.

The closure of the Zurich and Stockholm offices will affect six employees, said one of the people, who declined to be identified because the plans are confidential. Teams in the U.K. and Italy will cover existing clients in the affected regions, the people said.

Greg Fleming, who became head of Morgan Stanley Investment Management last year, said in November that the unit’s sales efforts have been “ineffective.” Since then, he installed Navtej Nandra as head of the division’s international operations and Paul Price as head of international sales.

“We continually evaluate our global distribution strategy across regions and products to ensure that we are delivering best-in-class service to clients in our key markets,” Morgan Stanley spokesman Hugh Fraser said in an e-mail today.

Morgan Stanley’s core asset management revenue fell 2 percent in 2010, while a rebound in merchant banking, including $431 million in gains from real estate funds, helped the unit to return to profit after two years of losses.

To contact the reporter on this story: Aaron Kirchfeld in Frankfurt at akirchfeld@bloomberg.net; Jacqueline Simmons in Paris at jackiem@bloomberg.net;

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Frank Connelly at fconnelly@bloomberg.net; David Scheer at dscheer@bloomberg.net

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