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Morgan Stanley in Keydata interest

MORGAN Stanley, the US investment banking giant, has joined a growing list of parties expressing interest in buying collapsed structured product provider Keydata.<br /><br />The bank already offers its own structured products to UK investors through the Morgan Stanley IQ brand, but it is thought to be keen to snap up the &pound;2.8bn of assets Keydata manages. <br /><br />Around 40 firms are now kicking the tyres at Keydata, which was passed to administrator PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) last week, and a sale of the group as a going concern is expected to take place imminently. <br /><br />It is thought rival standalone structured product firms like Meteor Asset Management and Jubliee Financial Products have also joined the ranks of potential bidders. <br /><br />PwC partner Dan Schwarzmann, also financial services expert on the Lehman Brothers administration, is fighting to push through a deal for the group so its 85,000 clients can continue to receive income from their investments.<br /><br />He said late last week the &ldquo;sale should ensure income payments are processed as they were prior to administration&rdquo;.<br /><br />He insisted client money is safe, although only when a sale completes can products resume paying regular incomes. Schwarzmann has said he will name a buyer by the end of the week. <br /><br />In the statement last week he said the administrator had discovered that 30,000 Keydata investors had been sold Independent Savings Accounts (Isa) that are not compliant with the rules for tax-free investment. <br /><br />PwC has still to ascertain whether those investors, many of whom were placed in the accounts by building societies, will lose their tax status on the investments.<br /><br />Keydata went into insolvency last Monday after it emerged it sold financial products not compliant with HM Revenue and Customs and it could not meet the taxes due on these products.