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Alex Ehrlich Heads Morgan Stanley’s Prime Brokerage Unit

Morgan Stanley's hiring of Alex Ehrlich could give it a further boost.

The balances in Morgan Stanley’s prime brokerage unit took a big hit when the market contracted in 2008. Business has been coming back throughout 2009, and the hiring of Alex Ehrlich as the firm’s new head of prime brokerage could give it a further boost.

“While I have a keen appreciation for how much has changed in the past two years, I am fundamentally bullish about the future of the hedge fund client segment we serve,” says Ehrlich, 50, who used to be among Morgan Stanley’s fiercest rivals — first as head of Goldman, Sachs & Co.’s European prime brokerage business and then as global head of prime services at UBS, which he joined in 2003. Richard Portogallo, who helped launch Morgan Stanley’s prime brokerage business more than 25 years ago and is now head of Institutional Equities Clients and Services at the bank, is glad to be working alongside his former adversary.

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