Morgan Stanley Investment Management has hired a senior executive from the US Federal Reserve Bank to spearhead its coverage of central banks and sovereign wealth funds.

Although he was hired out of New York, his role is based in Hong Kong, and he will report directly to Blair Pickerell, MSIMÆs Asia Pacific CEO. His role is global (ex-US, to be precise) but the decision to base him in Asia reflects in part the number and size of this segment of clientele in the region.

The $560 billion MSIM has long managed money for central banks and the like. So why does it need someone like Kos?

In terms of products and solutions, there is little difference to working on behalf of pension funds or other institutions. But the client relationship is a different kettle of fish. Central banks tend to be more clubby, career-oriented organisations staffed with quasi-civil servants. Often these are people with impressive credentials but not necessarily a lot of hands-on trading experience, so training is a much bigger part of the fund managerÆs service.

The special environment in places like central banks combined with the massive accumulation of assets and the establishment of new sovereign wealth funds in markets such as Korea and China are driving fund managers to hire the Dino Kosses of the world in special, high-level positions. Goldman Sachs Asset Management, for example, elevated Vincent Duhamel to a similar position last year û also covering the globe from Hong Kong.

Kos joins from the FedÆs New York branch, which he first joined in 1985. He was most recently executive vice president of the markets group, with responsibility for all the trading activity of the Fed including repo, government securities, foreign exchange and foreign reserves management. He was also responsible for managing $40 billionÆs worth of euro and yen reserves, and has also done a stint seconded to the Bank of International Settlements in Switzerland.

ôHe is someone with deep expertise in reserves management, a career central banker who knows the culture, desires and needs of monetary authorities,ö says Pickerell, who adds that Kos will also be responsible for coordinating MSIMÆs central bank/sovereign wealth maangement activities with Morgan Stanley investment bankÆs institutional securities group.