Sources at Morgan Stanley confirm that the firm has decided on a number of internal moves to fill the void left by Sheldon Trainor after he departed for Merrill Lynch last month. Moving into the role of head of the general industries group (GIG) is Matt Hanning, who has been head of regional M&A for the past six months.

Prior to this he was head of Australian investment banking at the firm for a number of years. His appointment in some way reflects the importance of the Asia – Australia investment nexus that has built up over the past five years.

Indeed one of the most important series of deals for Morgan Stanley's GIG group has been the transactions it has done for Singapore Power in Australia, including last year's acquisition of TXU's Australian assets and their subsequent listing this year. Hanning’s knowledge of both the Australian and Asian clients will create opportunities for some joined up investment banking.

Within the GIG group, Morgan Stanley is creating two further sub groups to be run by two rising stars within the firm. Shamus Hassan will run the energy and basic materials industry group and Deborah Mei will run the retail, industrial and consumer group.

Both Hassan and Mei had informal oversight of these areas, but these have now been formalized into specific and specialized sub sectors. Hanning will look after the power and infrastructure sectors as well.

Replacing Hanning as head of M&A will be two co-heads, Ed King and Rohit Sipahimalani. King brings a greater China focus to the role, while Sipahimalani brings India and technology work to the position.

Observers might note that the firm has chosen to replace Trainor with a move from within Morgan Stanley Asia, rather than calling on any relocations from the US or Europe. It would be unkind to suggest that the firm no longer has the bench strength in those regions to make such a move given the large number of high-level departures in recent months. Sources at Morgan Stanley say that there was never any need to call on other offices or even to bring in the headhunters to find a replacement from another firm, so strong is the existing team that works in Morgan Stanley Asia. Indeed with the exception of Hanning, all those mentioned above, as well as sector heads such as Matt Ginsburg and Paul Aiello as well as Gokul Laroia on the capital markets side, have all been with the firm for years.