BOSTON—Morgan Stanley Smith Barney has three words for asset managers specializing in registered alternative investment products: Bring it on.

That was the word from Paul Hatch, Morgan Stanley’s head of investment strategy, speaking on a panel titled “Understanding What Customers Really Want” at Fund Forum USA’s Global Fund Distribution Summit here Tuesday.

Morgan Stanley currently has 4%, or $60 billion, of its assets in alternative investments, and the firm would like to increase that to the 15% to 20% range, or as much as $300 billion, Hatch said.

“But we are only looking for solid, registered products that have far greater capacity and transparency, and a lower cost structure than where they are today,” Hatch said. “They need to be both a good product and have good asset allocation techniques.”

Asked what Morgan defines as an alternative investment, Hatch said it is anything that is not long-only in stocks bonds or cash. “We include real estate, commodities, managed futures, macro strategies, and long/short products in that category. Alternatives is a broad range of classes,” Hatch said.

-- This article first appeared on Money Management Executive.



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