Perella for Morgan Stanley

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MORGAN Stanley, the Wall Street investment bank, has hired Joseph Perella, the takeover specialist, who made his name during the merger and acquisition mania of the 1980s.

Earlier this year Mr Perella left his former partner, Bruce Wasserstein, with whom he had founded the investment boutique Wasserstein Perella in 1988. The two had worked together at First Boston, turning it into one of the most aggressive and innovative investment banks on Wall Street. They left to form their own business after a series of disagreements with the management.

Wasserstein Perella, known as 'Wasserella' on Wall Street, quickly became a powerhouse in merger and acquisition activity but in the 1990s the firm has slipped in the takeover league tables.

Since his departure Mr Perrella has been courted by several investment banks. Merrill Lynch was seen as a likely employer before being edged out by Morgan Stanley. Mr Perella is joining the firm as a managing director in the investment banking division. He will be on the operating committee and will have a say in overall management and strategy. His capture will provide a significant boost after the loss of several mergers and acquisition staff to Smith Barney Shearson this summer.