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Frank Venable III: Morgan Stanley Advisor Suspended Over Discretion Use

A disciplinary action taken by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority against Nashville, Tennessee broker and investment advisor Frank Venable III (CRD# 1461515) suspended him over allegations he improperly exercised discretion in customer accounts. A representative of Morgan Stanley, Venable was suspended for 10 days and fined $5,000.

According to a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (No. 2017056098601) dated January 2019, Frank Venable was registered with Morgan Stanley when, between January 2014 and March 2016, he executed about 400 discretionary trades in a total of five accounts held by three firm customers, “all of whom were members of the same household.” FINRA’s findings state that he did not receive the customers’ prior written authorization for the trades, nor his firm’s acceptance of the accounts as discretionary. The findings note that Venable had received “express or implied authority” to make discretionary trades in the accounts, but he had not received written authorization—as NASD Rule 2510(b) requires—and further that the firm had not approved the accounts for such trading. FINRA goes on to state that he “provided false responses on three annual compliance questionnaires” submitted to the firm from 2014 until 2016, stating specifically that “he had not exercised discretion in any customer account,” although he had done so. FINRA found these activities to constitute violations of NASD and FINRA rules. As a result of the foregoing alleged conduct, he was suspended from associating with any FINRA member firm in any and all capacities for ten days. He was also ordered to pay a fine of $5,000.

Frank Venable III has been registered with Morgan Stanley in Nashville, Tennessee since 2009. His employment history includes Morgan Stanley & Company, JJB Hilliard WL Lyons, and JC Bradford & Company. He currently holds 33 state licenses and has passed four securities industry qualification examinations.

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