Why Morgan Stanley Bought A Case Of The Blahs

Van Kampen's distribution network could be worth it

What's a top-drawer investment bank doing buying a decidedly second-tier mutual-fund firm? That's a question many people in the fund business are asking about Morgan Stanley Group Inc.'s June 24 agreement to purchase Van Kampen/American Capital Inc. for $1.1 billion. Morgan Stanley has a ready answer: "We see an opportunity to build on a solid investment performance record and make that a top-notch record across all asset categories," says Philip N. Duff, Morgan Stanley's chief financial officer. The McGraw-Hill Companies, publisher of BUSINESS WEEK, also bid for Van Kampen.

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