Morgan Stanley has lured Richard Surrency away from custody to grow the bank's new Asia-Pacific transition management business.

Jumping from Bank of New York Mellon where he was Asia head of sales responsible for custody, securities lending, fund administration and performance and risk services to Asian financial institutions, Surrency will serve as Morgan Stanley's Asia-Pacific head of transition management. He assumed the position in early January.

Surrency covers all of Asia-Pacific, except Japan and Australia, from his base in Singapore.

According to sources close to Surrency, the decision to leave Bank of New York Mellon was motivated by a better compensation package as well as the opportunity to work in transition management -- a change from his custody background.

Surrency says that he is "excited" to be leading Morgan Stanley's transition management team in Asia.

Prior to his appointment, the bank did not have transition management specialists based in Asia and served local clients from offices outside the region.

"Richard will be an important part of the firm's transition management platform as we develop a coordinated and consistent global offering," says Morgan Stanley's Asia head of consolidated equities David Russell. "Under Richard's leadership, we will leverage Morgan Stanley's best-in-class portfolio trading capabilities to expand our transition services in this increasingly important region."

Morgan Stanley plans to build on and expand its existing transition management business serving central banks, sovereign wealth funds, pension funds, mutual funds, insurance companies and other financial institutions.

The economic crisis has forced many financial institutions out of transition management. Analysts report that the business's high capital investment, including large head counts and overhead investments, and the difficulty in achieving economies of scale have forced banks out of the game.

To fill the vacuum, firms like Morgan Stanley, J.P. Morgan and certain custodians are expanding into transition management.

The transition management group at Morgan Stanley specialises in coordinated investment strategy changes across asset classes and managers. The bank does this through leveraging their global cash management, quantitative analytics, portfolio execution and counterparty administration.