GLOBAL – Owen Thomas has been named as president of Morgan Stanley Investment Management, taking over a role vacated by Mitchell Merin in September.

Parent Morgan Stanley said Thomas, 44, will report to bank acting president Zoe Cruz. The former head of Morgan Stanley Real Estate had been MSIM’s acting president since Merin’s departure.

He was succeeded in the real estate role by new co-heads John Carrafiell and Jay Mantz.

"As interim head of asset management, Owen has in a short period of time provided strong leadership for the business, made important progress in beginning to implement the changes necessary to improve growth, and earned the enthusiastic support of the division's employees,” said chairman and chief executive John Mack.

“Morgan Stanley is firmly committed to the asset management business, and we have outlined a clear strategy to capitalize on the significant growth opportunities it offers.”

Thomas becomes chairman of Morgan Stanley Real Estate.