Investment bank Morgan Stanley is getting back its mojo. Since former president John Mack returned to take charge as CEO in June, 2005, the firm has thrived by upgrading its businesses. Its traders are taking bigger risks and putting more of the bank’s own money behind trades. While brokers are focusing more on wealthy clients who want high-octane investments, the firm’s asset management business is launching private equity funds and acquiring hedge funds or taking minority stakes in them. Meantime, Morgan Stanley is finally getting out of a business that never seemed to jibe with its white-shoe image—the Discover credit card. Bottom line: Morgan Stanley’s stock has surged 43% since Mack came back.
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