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Morgan Stanley prime broker woes seen lasting

guardian.co.uk – Morgan Stanley survived the recent panic in financial markets, but its prime brokerage business may never fully recover.

More than a third of Morgan’s prime brokerage assets went out the door during the past month — some rivals said attrition could be as large as one-half — as investors unnerved by the credit crunch lost confidence in the bank.

Across Wall Street, hundreds of investment funds that relied on broker-dealers established accounts with commercial banks boasting stronger credit. The moves have shaken up a business long dominated by Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs Group Inc and Bear Stearns.
"It’s a $2 trillion business and in normal market conditions, people kill themselves to move 1 percent of market share. In recent weeks, probably 35 to 40 percent of global market share has been redistributed," said Alex Ehrlich, global head of prime services at UBS. "Never has there been a more disruptive period."

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