updated 3:53 PM CEST, Oct 20, 2020

Morgan Stanley to acquire globally-focused, US$500bn asset manager Eaton Vance

Eaton Vance's London offices Eaton Vance's London offices

Morgan Stanley, the New York Stock Exchange-listed, New York-based financial giant, is to acquire fellow NYSE-listed Eaton Vance Corp., a Boston-based investment firm with outposts around the world, according to a statement issued this morning.

The value of the deal was placed at around US$7bn.

Eaton Vance's international operations are based in London, and it has international outposts in Singapore, Tokyo, Sydney, Frankfurt and Dublin, according to its website.

Industry observers said the deal was yet another example of how the asset management industry is consolidating, in response to competitive pressures from low-cost index funds, online trading platforms, greater transparency required by recent regulations, and so on. 

In a statement on Thursday, Morgan Stanley chairman and chief executive officer James P. Gorman noted that Eaton Vance was "a perfect fit for Morgan Stanley" and that the transaction "further advances our strategic transformation by continuing to add more fee-based revenues to complement our world-class investment banking and institutional securities franchise."

After the deal closes, Morgan Stanley's Investment Management business (MSIM) – one of three key areas it operates in – will have approximately US$1.2trn in assets under management and more than US$5bn in combined revenues, the company said.

Morgan Stanley's acquisition of Eaton Vance comes just days after it closed on its acquisition of ETrade, a Palo Alto, California-based trading platform. 

The purchase is expected to be completed in the second quarter of next year, according to the statement.