Morgan Stanley has promoted a 15-year veteran of the firm to be the head of its North American prime brokerage business, the first major appointment in the unit since a new chief took over in August.

Edward Keller, 45, will supervise securities and cash lending and other prime brokerage services catering to hedge funds in the U.S., the business' biggest region. Keller, a Morgan Stanley managing director since 2002, has been overseeing equity finance sales in the U.S. Morgan Stanley announced the appointment internally Tuesday.

Morgan Stanley, like other Wall Street firms, is benefiting from a flow of money back into hedge funds — a reversal from the previous 18 months, which were dominated by fund closures and losses spurred by the credit crisis.

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