Morgan Stanley Eases Out High-Producing Boston Broker
A top-ranked Morgan Stanley broker in Boston and most of his team left under pressure this week as the wirehouse stepped up its surveillance of customer privacy issues, according to several sources.
The advisor appears to have run afoul of the firm’s data protection policy by maintaining prospecting lists outside of Morgan Stanley’s customer relationship management system, according to two of the sources.
The wirehouse had earlier approved his prospecting and customer-contact methods, but recanted as it became more sensitive in recent months to customer privacy issues, one source said.
Brokerage firms’ sensitivity to protecting client data and monitoring broker communications has become more acute generally as advisors have worked from home amid the coronavirus crisis, according to compliance officials.
A Morgan Stanley spokeswoman declined to comment on the status of the Boston team.
Lonske, a managing director who qualified for nine consecutive years as a “Chairman’s Club” producer through 2017, according to his Morgan Stanley web biography, did not respond to requests for comment left at his office phone and through social media.
His six-person team was one of the largest by production at the wirehouse’s 28 State Street location in downtown Boston, a legacy Smith Barney branch, said two sources.
His fellow advisors—Tara Schutz, a certified financial planner whose team biography says she merged her solo practice with Lonske’s in 2016, and Mary Flanigan, another CFP who helps the team with portfolio performance analysis investment model selection—did not respond to messages left on their office voicemails.
Forbes in 2018 ranked Lonske #39 on its list of Best-in-Massachusetts wealth advisors, with $411 million of team assets. His LinkedIn profile says he is credentialed by Morgan Stanley as an alternative investments director and a portfolio management director. He limits his client base to under 100 wealthy households, according to a marketing brochure on the team’s website.
Lonske, who began his career in March 1996 at Gruntal, has settled four customer complaints, according to his BrokerCheck record. The largest, for $125,000 in 2017, alleged unsuitable investment recommendations over ten years. He settled a 2016 allegation of misrepresenting structured notes for just over $36,000, according to the database.
Schutz, who a source said contributed around $750,000 to the team’s annual revenue, first registered as a broker in 2010 at Morgan Stanley. Flanigan has worked at Morgan Stanley and predecessor firms for all but one of her 16-year industry career.
Neither has disclosures on their BrokerCheck histories.
—Jed Horowitz contributed to this story.