Morgan Stanley is making moves for an upcoming major push into alternative investments, The Wall Street Journal reports. Citing an internal memo authored by Owen Thomas, who heads MS' asset-management business, The WSJ says the investment bank, responding to criticism by CEO John Mack that Morgan Stanley is lagging in alternative investments, has hired and transferred a number of people to ready the unit for the launch of a hedge fund. The bank's Bob Jordan crosses over from institutional equity to the new unit for the purpose of a debuting a market-neutral fund with a "value-oriented approach," according to the memo. Joining Jordan are Nicholas Del Deo and a trio of others from Giraffe Capital. In additional, Mark Baumgartner of Quantal Asset Management is coming aboard to sail with the "portable alpha" team targeting institutional investors, and Walter Thurman is switching from MS' fixed-income unit to head sales of funds to corporate clients, endowments and foundations. Finally, Morgan Stanley has wooed Kevin Kuntz from Ramius Capital to become executive director to assist in the selection of outside managers for AIP Liquid Markets, MS' fund of hedge fund business, and Larry Berner, from Glenwood Capital is expected to arrive at the MS next week as a research analyst.