Byline: David Roeder Daily Herald Business Writer
Morgan Stanley Group Inc., investment banker to the rich and powerful, on Monday aimed for a bigger cut of Americans' mutual fund portfolios.
The company, the nation's fifth-largest securities firm, said it is buying the parent of Van Kampen American Capital Inc., based in Oakbrook Terrace, for at least $745 million in cash and preferred stock.
"All of a sudden Morgan Stanley is a force in the $3.1 trillion mutual fund business," said Richard Chimberg, editor of Investment Management Weekly, an industry publication.
The sale makes Morgan Stanley the second-largest Wall Street firm in the mutual …