At least a dozen investment portfolio managers for Morgan Stanley Investment Management on Tuesday were terminated from their posts, Morgan Stanley spokeswoman Connie Kain said.

The performance history of the fired managers played a key role in who went, Kain said. A desire to "increase efficiency" within the investment management firm also factored into the terminations, she said. The dismissals were not related to any one investment product sector or to investigations by regulators, she said, adding that the terminations were in the works prior to the recent arrival of new Morgan Stanley President of Global Services Bill Ennis.

Instead, they had more to do with cost-savings, and the performance of the individuals, than a realignment of Morgan Stanley’s investment offerings, Kain said.

The Securities and Exchange Commission is currently investigating whether two of Morgan Stanley’s mutual funds benefited from information from its investment banking unit and the National Association of Securities Dealers just fined Morgan $2 million for promoting its own funds over others through sales contests at its brokerage outlets.

Among the managers let go were Jeff New, who managed $2 billion at the firm’s Van Kampen unit along with two of his reports, Michael Davis and Sean Conner, Kain went on record as saying. No additional terminations have been scheduled, she said.

Subscribe Now

Access to premium content including in-depth coverage of mutual funds, hedge funds, 401(K)s, 529 plans, and more.

3-Week Free Trial

Insight and analysis into the management, marketing, operations and technology of the asset management industry.