"Rationalization: the Sequel" Plays at Morgan Stanley
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Thursday, February 01, 2018

"Rationalization: the Sequel" Plays at Morgan Stanley

Rationalization has returned to Morgan Stanley for a second round, even as the wirehouse amps up its fund due diligence. And a third round of rationalization may be coming soon.

Alper Daglioglu
Morgan Stanley
Managing Director, Head of Global Investment Manager Analysis - Traditional and Alternative Investments
Morgan Stanley Wealth Management "will continue on an ongoing basis to rationalize the number of products with the goal of offering the highest quality platform while reducing the number of redundant strategies," company spokeswoman Christy Jockle tells MFWire in an emailed statement.

Funds likely to be targeted for cuts include those with performance woes or little assets on Morgan Stanley's platform. It's unclear if only traditional open-end mutual funds will be targeted, or if other product types like ETFs could also be affected.

"For the best interest of our clients, we are eliminating funds that have underperformed or have been unsuccessful in raising assets on our platform while also expanding the number of strategies that are covered by the Global Investment Manager Analysis [GIMA] team," Jockle's statement continues:
We continue to offer funds from a diverse set of managers across all product categories. The Firm is not targeting a specific number of mutual fund products to be eliminated but is focused on offerings funds managed by well-established investment management teams across a wide variety of investment strategies, enabling our Advisors to create portfolios to address the rull range of investment objectives.

Managing director Alper Dagliogu leads the 65-person GIMA team for both traditional and alternative investments.

CityWire, InvestmentNews, and AdvisorHub all covered Morgan Stanley's new round of fund platform cuts.

Jockle declined to comment on the current number of funds on the wirehouse's platform, or on the number of funds expected to be affected by the changes. For round one back at the beginning of 2017, word in the industry was that Morgan Stanley was cutting about 850 funds from the 3,000 then available on the platform. Now multiple publications estimate that Morgan Stanley offers about 2,300 funds on its platform and that round two of rationalization will push that number below 2,000 and affect two percent of Morgan Stanley's clients' mutual fund assets. CityWire reports that round two will lead to soft closings in May 2018 and hard closings in Q1 2019.

Looking ahead, CityWire also notes the Morgan Stanley will do a third round of rationalization, though there is no word yet on the timing.

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