Morgan Stanley's Australian investment banking team has been buoyed by the news that Richard Wagner and Peter Brownie have crossed to the firm from ABN AMRO.

Wagner comes on board as co-head of Australian investment banking, which he will manage alongside Rick Ball. At ABN, Wagner was head of corporate finance in Australia, a position he held from 2003. He is widely considered to be one of the leading M&A practitioners in the Australian market especially where the country's key energy, utilities and infrastructure sectors are concerned.

Prior to this role, he was ABN's managing director in corporate finance responsible for the power and utilities sector. Some of his benchmark deals include: Vector's NZ$1.5 billion ($1.0 billion) acquisition of United Networks; AEP's A$1.6 billion ($1.2 billion) sale of CitiPower; Alliant's A$593 million ($456 million) sale of Southern Hydro and CKI and HongKong Electric's A$2.3 billion ($1.7 billion) acquisition of Powercor.

Also crossing from ABN is Peter Brownie who joins Morgan Stanley as a Sydney based managing director. At ABN, he led and advised on numerous IPOs, takeover defences, mergers, acquisitions and capital raisings spanning the food and beverage, property, services and transport sectors.

Both will report to Steve Harker, Morgan Stanley Australia CEO and to Mike Berchtold, president and head of investment banking for Morgan Stanley Asia-Pacific.