Former financial advisor Thomas Alan Meier (CRD# 1146044), who was most recently affiliated with Morgan Stanley (CRD# 149777), has voluntarily consented to a bar from the securities industry pursuant to a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver & Consent (“AWC”) accepted by FINRA Enforcement on March 19, 2018. Without admitting or denying any wrongdoing, the Miami, FL based broker consented to the industry bar following FINRA’s investigation and findings concerning allegations of, inter alia, unauthorized trading, unsuitable investments, and overconcentration in energy sector investments.
Mr. Meier’s career in the securities industry dates back to the early 1980’s, including stints at Merrill Lynch, now defunct Thomson McKinnon, Prudential Securities, Citigroup — and most recently, Morgan Stanley — from June 2009 – April 2016. According to a previously filed Form U5 notice, Mr. Meier resigned from Morgan Stanley in 2016 while “under internal review.”
Pursuant to the AWC, FINRA Enforcement alleged that between July 2012 and March 2016, Mr. Meier made nearly 1,300 stock trades in six customer accounts without permission, yielding Mr. Meier commissions of about $265,000. Further, FINRA has alleged that these trades cost customers approximately $818,000, as well as more than $2 million in unrealized paper losses.
NASD Rule 2510(b) states that a registered representative may not exercise discretion in a customer’s account “unless such customer has given prior written authorization,” and moreover, such discretionary authority has been approved in writing by the advisor’s employer firm. Publicly available information through FINRA BrokerCheck indicates that Mr. Meier has been subject to fourteen customer complaints, all of which have resulted in settlement.
Brokerage firms like Morgan Stanley have a duty to ensure that their registered representatives are adequately supervised. Brokerage firms must also take reasonable steps to ensure that their financial advisors follow all applicable securities rules and regulations, in addition to internal policies and procedures. In instances when brokerage firms fail to adequately supervise their registered representatives, they may be held liable for losses sustained by investors.
Attorneys at Law Office of Christopher J. Gray, P.C. have represented investors in a number of cases involving unsuitable investments and investment strategies, excessive trading or churning, and alleged broker misconduct. Investors may contact a securities arbitration attorney by telephone at (866) 966-9598, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org for a no-cost, confidential consultation.