Morgan Stanley Discharges Man-About-Town Los Angeles Advisor
A Morgan Stanley broker who has been profiled in national and local publications for his high-end lifestyle and his ownership of Los Angeles restaurants was discharged last month for allegedly inaccurate reports on his outside business activities.Kerry Moy, who began his career as a registered rep with Merrill Lynch in 1984 and joined Morgan Stanley in 2012, submitted incorrect expense reports and “inaccurate information about outside restaurant-related business activities and his use of firm resources for those outside activities,” according to a summary of Morgan Stanley’s allegations on his BrokerCheck report.
Moy, who two weeks ago registered as an investment adviser representative through independent firm Western International Securities, did not respond to calls for comment. A Morgan Stanley spokeswoman declined to comment on the allegations or on whether his departure involved pending litigation from an investor against Moy.
A person claiming familiarity with Moy’s wealth practice said he generated about $1 million of fees on $150 million of customer assets at Morgan Stanley, and was “meticulous” about keeping his wealth advisory and restaurant business interests separate. Another person who used to work at Moy’s L.A. branch on South Flower Street said he had a relatively large office that reflected his longevity and status at the firm.
Brokers have often stumbled into regulatory shoals for failing to disclose and receive approval from supervisors for outside businesses, but Moy appears to have been open about his ventures. His expanded BrokerCheck history lists his ownership of a partnership invested in several restaurants and in the M2K Group, which operates seafood and Asian eateries and sports bars. A summary of his U-4 disclosure on BrokerCheck says he is “not active” in running the restaurants, but meets weekly with partners about the investments.
Moy also has not been shy about publicizing his outside business interests. A 2012 article in the “Los Angeles Times” about his purchase of a million-dollar unit at the Ritz-Carlton Residences referred to him as a “wealth manager and restaurateur” who owned 11 southern California restaurants at the time. A local real estate publication in 2013 referred to him as a “restaurateur, portfolio manager/financial advisor and accomplished musician,” while “The Wall Street Journal” featured him in a May 2018 article about wealthy people buying high-end properties in downtown L.A.
Moy’s BrokerCheck record includes a $14 million lawsuit that his limited partnership filed against Monkee Restaurant, a now-closed Chinese seafood venue that was owned by M2K. Morgan Stanley is named as a cross-defendant in the suit that was filed in December in Los Angeles County Superior Court. The pending lawsuit alleges “misrepresentation with respect to investments” made between 2015 and 2018, according to BrokerCheck.
Finra’s Rule 3270 requires brokers to receive written approval of outside business activities, saying that firms must determine if the activities will interfere with brokers’ responsibilities “or be perceived by customers as part of the firm’s business.” Passive investments and activities are exempted from the requirement.
Finra has proposed a new OBA rule intended to clarify widespread confusion about what is permissible and to “reduce unnecessary burdens while strengthening investor protections.”