Mr. Beyer said the management changes are part of long-term succession planning. "We're doing in senior management what we have done throughout firm and product groups, which is to bring up the next generation of leadership."
Mr. Beyer, who joined TCW in 1995, said the firm would remain focused on growing the institutional business. "You'll see us slowly reposition our product line so we can address the specific needs our client base," he said, noting further development of its defined contribution and alternative lines of business. He declined to offer specifics.
Also, William Sonneborn, executive vice president and chief operating officer, will succeed Marc Stern as president of TCW Group. Mr. Sonneborn will remain COO; Mr. Stern will become vice chairman of TCW Group and remain on the TCW Group board. This is a new position. Mr. Stern also is taking on a new role within SocGen to help "evaluate options for their North American strategy" outside of TCW, Mr. Beyer said.
At Morgan Stanley, Mr. Merin on Sept. 13 announced his intention to retire; he will continue as an adviser until a permanent successor is named. Spokesman Jim Badenhausen didn't offer details on the search process, but sources said Spencer Stuart was hired to search for Mr. Merin's replacement as the head of the $416 billion investment management unit.
Owen D. Thomas will serve as acting president; he is managing director and head of Morgan Stanley Real Estate. Mr. Thomas will be responsible for day-to-day management, while Joseph McAlinden, CIO of Morgan Stanley Investment Management, will be responsible for investment process and strategy. Both 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. "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." Mr. Mack was not available for comment.
Mr. Merin's tenure had been the subject of speculation since June, when his mentor, Philip Purcell, stepped down under pressure as Morgan Stanley's CEO.