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Morgan Stanley seeks acquisitions

Morgan Stanley is set to continue pursuing new acquisitions in an effort to boost its growth, the chief executive of the US investment bank has said.

Speaking to investors in New York, John Mack said that he would be looking to acquire both large and small businesses across a wide range of areas, including mortgage origination and servicing, commodities and hedge funds.

The intention is to close the profitability gap with competitors, which remains despite progress in improving Morgan Stanley's brokerage and asset management businesses, and an expansion of its global investment banking activities.

Mr Mack said that any new acquisitions would be made to complement these existing businesses, with money management remaining the firm's focus.

Since taking over as chief executive ten months ago, Mr Mack has earmarked some $2.5 billion for investment in Morgan Stanley's asset management activities, of which he says $1.3 billion had already been spent.

Earlier this year, Morgan Stanley expressed its interest in taking over the BlackRock asset management company before deciding against it, and only last week it lost out to rival bidders in its attempt to buy oil products distributor TransMontaigne.