By Olivia Oran
ValueAct Capital Management trimmed its stake in Morgan Stanley (MS.N) by 9 million shares during the first quarter, according to a U.S. regulatory filing.
That brings the hedge fund’s total number of shares in Morgan Stanley down to 17.8 million, according to the filing on Monday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
ValueAct owned as many as 41.9 million shares in the Wall Street bank in 2016. It acquired a 2 percent stake in Morgan Stanley last August, saying at the time it had no plans to take a seat on the bank’s board of directors or demand dramatic shifts in strategy.
Agitating for meaningful change at large banks is very difficult, analysts say, because banks are controlled tightly by the U.S. Federal Reserve which governs how they use capital.
ValueAct founder Jeff Ubben said in February he got “super lucky” with President Donald Trump administration’s proposed financial deregulation agenda, which caused bank shares – including Morgan Stanley – to soar.
He said he sold some shares in Morgan Stanley following its price increase.
Shares in Morgan Stanley have risen 46 percent since ValueAct took its initial stake.
(Reporting by Olivia Oran in New York; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)