Dismissed Morgan Stanley Institutional Broker Signs with Canadian Firm
A high-profile Morgan Stanley broker has found a new home after he appears to have been terminated last month over an outside business activity.
Stenner, whose team reportedly managed $18.5 billion in “institutional” client assets from a Graystone Consulting office in San Francisco, was discharged on October 9 for running afoul of Morgan Stanley’s outside business activity rules, according to his BrokerCheck record.
He had joined Graystone, the Morgan Stanley unit that services pension plans, endowments and other pools of capital, just three years earlier when he and a partner moved to Palo Alto from Canada, where they had been with Richardson GMP in Vancouver.
Stenner had chaired the Canadian chapter of Tiger 21, a peer group of high-net-worth investors, and had previously worked at Merrill Lynch International and CIBC World Markets in Canada, according to his web biographies.
Stenner could not immediately be reached for comment about the circumstances of his dismissal or his new position, and he did not return a message sent him through LinkedIn.
Morgan Stanley in May announced its own expansion into Canada through its workplace financial services business, and said that Canaccord Genuity would be providing clearing, custody and “customized wealth management” solutions to its advisors north of the border.
Stenner ranked #8 on Barron’s 2020 list of top institutional consultants, based in part on his team’s $18.5 billion in managed client assets.. His partner, Youssef A. Zohny, remains at Morgan Stanley in San Francisco, according to BrokerCheck. The team has Canadian and U.S. clients, according to Stenner’s LinkedIn profile
His discharge resulted from “concerns” about his adherence to restrictions Morgan Stanley had placed on a “personal passive investment” that it had approved, according to a summary of the Form U5 termination notice sent to regulators and summarized on BrokerCheck. The concern included his “signing a memorandum referencing compensation” from a private company.
Firms’ controls over advisors’ outside business activities have been a frequent source of regulatory attention, leading to a tightening of compliance restraints industrywide.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority in October suspended a former Merrill Lynch broker who allegedly introduced celebrity clients to people raising money for outside ventures without the firm’s permission. It also imposed sanctions last summer against brokers who failed to get their firms’ written permission for outside business activities.
Stenner’s BrokerCheck report does not specify the particulars of the investment that drew Morgan Stanley’s wrath.
The database does include his reporting of five “non-investment related” outside business activities: his directorship of Staunch Investments, a passive vehicle for investing $1 million or more in Vannedge Capital; his “strategic advisor” roles to Q5id, an Oregon firm, and Beckley Psytech, a UK firm; his directorship in Siberian Tiger Enterprise, identified only as a holding company; and his advisory board role to Chimp Technology, an online fundraising platform for Canadian charities. A reference to his sole ownership of True Wealth Enterprises, described as a personal holding company in an earlier version of his BrokerCheck report, is not included in the updated report showing his registration with Canaccord.