Ivory Investment Management has split from hedge fund FrontPoint Partners, a development that could bolster Morgan Stanley's plans to obtain a savvy money manager to help supplant its spoiled bid to acquire BlackRock, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Even before Morgan Stanley Chief Executive John Mack began his pursuit of BlackRock, the $450 billion fixed-income manager scooped up by Merrill Lynch last month, he expressed a desire to augment the New York banker's asset management unit with alternative investment expertise. Mack wants a bigger piece of the hedge fund industry, a potentially lucrative business that caters to the wealthiest investors.

Most fingers pointed to Greenwich, Conn.-based FrontPoint, a $5 billion hedge fund that is, coincidentally, run by Morgan Stanley asset management alum Philip Duff. That speculation heated up in the wake of the BlackRock hiccup, but with Ivory out of the picture FrontPoint might be even riper for investment, The Journal observed, citing people close to Morgan Stanley. Los Angeles-based Ivory accounted for 30% of FrontPoint's assets.

But some people still think the deal is a long shot, given some of FrontPoint's recent investment decisions. In 2000, the firm found itself on the wrong end of big market bet and ended up returning a bunch of cash to its investors. Then, last year, one of its funds lost 15% and was folded in to another fund. Now Ivory has packed its bags and headed back to sunny Southern California, suggesting that perhaps FrontPoint isn't all it's cracked up to be.

The staff of Money Management Executive ("MME") has prepared these capsule summaries based on reports published by the news sources to which they are attributed. Those news sources are not associated with MME, and have not prepared, sponsored, endorsed, or approved these summaries

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.