Morgan Stanley exec: Rapid rise in hedge fund launches

4 March 2010

A Morgan Stanley executive has stated that five times as many hedge funds are being launched at the moment than at this time last year.

Alex Ehrlich, head of Morgan Stanley's prime brokerage business, told the Reuters Private Equity and Hedge Funds Summit in New York that as many as 100 new hedge funds could start working with his company this year.

"We are seeing very, very strong hedge fund formation right now," he said. "We are as busy as we have ever been."

He added that clients are returning to Morgan Stanley following the loss of some of them – a reduction blamed on the collapse of Lehman Brothers in November 2008 affecting confidence in the viability of major banks.

Earlier this year, Chris Gaunt, a UK-based headhunter at Heidrick & Struggles' financial services unit, told the Guardian that many British bankers are seeking a move away from their traditional roles into hedge fund and private equity jobs.

By Asim Shah

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