Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Morgan Stanley on Thursday announced an agreement to buy Boston-based investment manager Eaton Vance for $7 billion in cash and stock.

Why it matters: This solidifies the idea that Morgan Stanley views acquisition as its best path to predictable growth, as it comes just days after completing a $13 billion deal for E*Trade.

Details: Eaton Vance shareholders will receive $28.25 per share in cash and 0.5833x per share in Morgan Stanley common stock, working out to around $56.50 per share (38% premium on yesterday's closing price).

  • The deal would add more than $500 billion to Morgan Stanley Investment Management's AUM, bringing the combined total to $1.2 trillion.

The bottom line, via Axios' Felix Salmon: James Gorman is bringing M&A back to the bulge bracket. It's been a while.

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
Oct 21, 2020 - Economy & Business

Inside Vista Equity after CEO Robert Smith's fraud settlement

Robert Smith at a Morehouse College gala. Photo: Paras Griffin/Getty Images

Vista Equity continues to work toward getting its house in order, following last Thursday's stunning admissions of personal tax fraud by founder and CEO Robert Smith.

Why it matters: Smith has settled with the Justice Department and the IRS, but the story isn't over yet.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
21 hours ago - Economy & Business

Wall Street still prefers bonds

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Sunset Boulevard/Getty Contributor

Investors' return on U.S. corporate bonds has been falling since its August peak, but buying has only accelerated, especially in investment grade bonds that are offering historically low yields.

The state of play: Since hitting its 2020 high on Aug. 4, the benchmark Bloomberg Barclays U.S. bond aggregate has delivered a -2.2% return. (For comparison, the S&P 500 has gained 3.9% during the same time period.)

The cliffhanger could be ... Georgia

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

It hasn't backed a Democrat for president since 1992, but Georgia's changing demographics may prove pivotal this year — not only to Trump v. Biden, but also to whether Democrats take control of the Senate.

Why it matters: If the fate of the Senate did hinge on Georgia, it might be January before we know the outcome. Meanwhile, voters' understanding of this power in the final days of the election could juice turnout enough to impact presidential results.