Mitchell M. Merin stepped down as president and COO of Morgan Stanley Investment Management, according to Jim Badenhausen, company spokesman. Mr. Merin announced his intention to retire today; he will continue to serve as an adviser to Morgan Stanley until a permanent successor is named. Mr. Badenhausen could not offer specific details on the search process; however, sources close to Morgan Stanley said Spencer Stuart was hired to search for Mr. Merin's replacement.
Owen D. Thomas will serve as acting president of Morgan Stanley Investment Management. Mr. Thomas, managing director and head of Morgan Stanley Real Estate, will be responsible for day-to-day management and will work directly with Morgan Stanley's senior management team during the transition, while Joseph McAlinden, CIO of Morgan Stanley Investment Management, will be responsible for the firm's investment process and strategy. Both Messrs. Thomas and McAlinden will report directly to Zoe Cruz, acting president of parent Morgan Stanley, according to a company news release.
"Investment management is a key business for Morgan Stanley, one that we are deeply committed to investing in and growing," John Mack, chairman and CEO, said in a statement. "As head of the business, Mitch Merin provided strong leadership and established an excellent foundation on which to build. He has significantly enhanced profitability, and the performance of key funds continues to improve."