* Amid persistently low interest rates in Japan, Morgan Stanley's Japanese asset management unit is setting its sights on Japanese institutional investors looking for higher-yielding alternative assets overseas, Bloomberg reports, citing Morgan Stanley Investment Management (Japan) President Hiroyuki Shimizu.
* Phoenix-based Arizona FCU is acquiring Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Pinnacle Bank in a deal expected to close in the fourth quarter.
* Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance completed the sale of all of its individual life insurance and annuity businesses to Protective Life Insurance, except for a small block of participating life insurance policies that the buyer's parent company, Protective Life Corp., will administer.
* The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority is looking into allegations that a Citigroup employee with access to price-sensitive information about large transactions leaked tips to a stock trader before the deals became public, The Wall Street Journal reports.
* St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard said a rate cut from the Fed "may be warranted soon" amid the heightened global trade uncertainty, to help get inflation back to 2%.
* Kansas Federal Reserve President Esther George rejected criticism that the central bank's payment services have hampered market innovation, saying they have actually benefited the public, American Banker reports.
* William Weber, who spent about 10 years at Keefe Bruyette & Woods and was co-head of the financial strategies group, and was most recently with Brean Capital, joined Checkpoint Capital as CEO.
* The U.S. House Committee on Financial Services' Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Financial Institutions will conduct a hearing entitled, "Emerging Threats to Stability: Considering the Systemic Risk of Leveraged Lending" at 2 p.m. ET today.
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