The move by Morgan Stanley comes in an attempt to shore up its asset management business that has seen cash flow out of its proprietary mutual funds on a consistent basis since 2001. Ennis, who was brought on after serving as chief executive of Evergreen Investments, has been brought on to stem the tide, bringing with him Evergreen’s track record of consistently increasing its managed asset base during the current bear market cycle. He is expected to start in mid-July, according to a Dow Jones report.
In the new position, Ennis will be in charge of sales, distribution and operations at Morgan Stanley Investment Management (MSIM). The investment-management business had outflows of $5.4 billion for its most recent quarter ended in May, attributed to large exit flows from money funds, and earlier outflows seen in stock funds.
Ennis, in a broadened role, will take over duties previously handled by Richard Powers, who retired late last year as chief executive of Van Kampen investments, one of the few MSIM divisions to see positive flows over the past few months.
During Ennis’ tenure at Evergreen, which began in 1994, the firm’s mutual-fund assets grew to about $115 billion from around $3 billion. An Evergreen spokesman told Dow Jones there are no plans to fill Ennis’ position “due to the strength of our existing team.”