Morgan Stanley ( MS) has raised a $1.14 billion private equity fund, the firm announced Monday. The fund, dubbed Morgan Stanley Alternative Investment Partners, is known as a "fund of funds," because it will invest in other private equity funds. "AIP's successful fundraising effort during an extremely challenging market environment demonstrates the strength of our investment approach and our stable team of talented managers," said Stu Bohart, co-head of the bank's investment management division, in a press release. While billion dollar private equity funds were a dime a dozen two years ago, raising money in the current environment is much more difficult. Nonetheless, funds are being raised. Goldman Sachs ( GS)recently raised $5.5 billion to buy beaten down private equity assets, according to several reports earlier this month. Goldman CFO David Viniar described the reports as "a little bit of old news," during Goldman's conference call last Monday. He said most of the $5.5 billion had been raised earlier.