Morgan Stanley Makes Move in Leverage Finance

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Morgan Stanley is moving to strengthen its business with mid-cap companies in the U.S. and Canada, and has transferred the head of its Asian leveraged finance operations to lead the effort.

Media reports say Max Blandon, the head of Asia-Pacific leveraged finance for the bank, will be replaced by Brian McCullough and Peter Szekely when he moves to New York. Reuters says Blandon will work with the bank's regional U.S. offices to develop business in cities such as Houston and Chicago.

Morgan Stanley has been building up its leveraged finance business recently, both in Europe and in the U.S. Chief Executive John Mack has said leveraged finance is a profit-growth driver for the bank.

Last fall, a number of banks began boosting their leveraged finance staffs globally. UBS, HSBC, Fortis, ING, Nomura and Goldman Sachs all hired and/or boosted compensation levels in the sector.

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