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Stuart Henley: FINRA Suspends Former Morgan Stanley Broker

A disciplinary action taken by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority against former Tampa, Florida broker Stuart Henley (CRD# 1368973) suspended him over allegations that he exercised unauthorized discretion in a customer account while at his former broker-dealer firm, Morgan Stanley. Henley was fined $5,000 and suspended from acting as a broker for 30 days as a result of these findings.

According to a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent (No. 2018057441201) signed in May 2019, Stuart Henley engaged in the use of discretion in a customer’s account from June 5, 2013 until July 31, 2013, without receiving written authorization from the customer or acceptance of the account as discretionary from his member firm, consequently violating NASD and FINRA Rules. Specifically, FINRA’s findings state that Henley executed about 150 discretionary transactions in the account of an elderly customer. The customer had given Henley “express or implied authority to exercise discretion in his account,” according to FINRA, however Henley allegedly had not received the customer’s written authorization to exercise discretion, nor Morgan Stanley’s approval of the customer’s account for discretionary transactions. FINRA’s findings state additionally that Henley “provided inaccurate responses on three annual compliance questionnaires” he submitted to the firm, specifically stating “that he had not exercised discretion in any customer account,” despite his exercise of discretion in the elderly customer’s account from June 2013 until July 2013.

FINRA’s findings state that these activities constituted violations of NASD Conduct Rule 2510(b) and FINRA Rule 2010. NASD Conduct Rule 2510(b) states that “no FINRA member or registered representative shall exercise any discretionary power in a customer’s account” without the customer’s prior written authorization and the firm’s acceptance of the account as discretionary. FINRA Rule 2010 states that “a member, in the conduct of its business, shall observe high standards of commercial honor and just and equitable principles of trade.” According to FINRA, any violation of NASD Conduct Rule 2510 also constitutes a violation of FINRA Rule 2010. As a result of the foregoing alleged conduct, Henley was issued a fine of $5,000 and a 30-day suspension from association with any FINRA member in any capacity.

Stuart Henley is currently not registered as a broker. He is currently registered as an investment advisor with Harmony Asset Management in Tampa, Florida. His employment history includes Calton & Associates, Morgan Stanley, Morgan Stanley & Company, Morgan Stanley DW, Painewebber, Lehman Brothers, and IDS Marketing Corporation. He has passed six securities industry qualification examinations.

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