Morgan Stanley Said to Usher Out Long-Tenured Advisor in Texas
Morgan Stanley this week dismissed a 34-year financial advisor in the suburbs of Dallas whose three-advisor team generated around $3 million in annual revenue, according to sources familiar with the matter.
Mitchell, who had been with Morgan Stanley and its Smith Barney predecessor since 2009, could not be reached for comment at two publicly listed numbers. A Morgan Stanley spokeswoman declined to comment.
His BrokerCheck report, which as of Thursday morning lists him as still registered with Morgan Stanley, includes a customer complaint about being solicited over four-and-a-half years by Mitchell to invest in “outside…opportunities” that the firm had not authorized. Mitchell settled the $180,000 damage claim in July for $78,000 in order “to avoid the cost of further arbitration,” according to the report, and did not admit liability.
The regulatory report includes two approved outside investment-related businesses activities for Mitchell—an organic farming venture in Plano North called Great Taste of Texas, and a position as a board member of the Lake Kiowa Men’s Golf Association.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority requires approvals of outside business participation to ensure that firms can monitor advisors so they do not compromise their obligations to customers or the broker-dealer, and has highlighted “outside business activity” as a top exam priority in 2021.
Morgan Stanley in October terminated the co-head of a top institutional team over a personal investment after the advisor “sign[ed] a memorandum referencing compensation” from a private company, according to the company’s U5 filing. The firm did not allege that the broker had actually received any payment.
Mitchell started his career in 1986 at Cleveland, OH-based McDonald & Co., and then worked for 17 years at Wachovia Securities and predecessor firm Prudential Securities before joining Smith Barney shortly before it was folded into Morgan Stanley.
The two other Legacy Group advisors, Rick Barton and Allison Lopes, remain at Morgan Stanley along with two client associates, according to the team website. As of Thursday, it includes a photo of Mitchell with his teammates, but does not list his name.
Neither Barton nor Lopes, who respectively have been registered reps for ten years and one year, have customer complaints or other disclosures on their BrokerCheck records. Barton declined to comment on Mitchell, and Lopes could not immediately be reached for comment.
(Corrects the terms of the institutional broker’s departure in the fourth paragraph from end.)