UPDATE 1-Morgan Stanley's Gokul Laroia to become Asia Pacific co-CEO

Thu Feb 27, 2014 11:37pm EST

HONG KONG Feb 28 (Reuters) - Morgan Stanley said Gokul Laroia will become co-chief executive for the Asia-Pacific region, replacing William Strong who will retire from the firm in May, according to an internal memo obtained by Reuters on Friday.

A spokesman for Morgan Stanley confirmed the appointment.

Laroia retains his current position as head of the institutional equity and wealth management business in Asia. He will partner with Wei Sun Christianson as co-CEO Asia Pacific.

Laroia, 47, joined Morgan Stanley in 1995 and worked in India, Singapore and Hong Kong. He moved from the bank's capital markets division to become co-head of investment banking for Asia-Pacific in June 2009, then in April 2011 became head of the sales and trading department known as Institutional Equity Asia.

That shake-up saw Kate Richdale become sole head of investment banking for the region, a role that she held until moving to Goldman Sachs in March last year.

Since then Morgan Stanley has continued its strong run in recent years on advising mergers and acquisitions in Asia Pacific, finishing 2013 as the top-ranked investment bank for such deals in the region according to Thomson Reuters data.

Morgan Stanley was the fourth-ranked bank for equity capital markets deals in Asia-Pacific last year.

Strong, 61, moved to Hong Kong in March 2011 to serve as co-chief for the Asia Pacific region alongside Christianson, the U.S. investment bank's China head. Strong joined Morgan Stanley in January 1993 in Chicago, spending 18 years there before the move to Asia.

Strong notified the bank early last year of his desire to retire from Morgan Stanley in May 2014, according to the memo.

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