Morgan Stanley Says Farewell to Ami Forte; Her Son Stays
Ami Forte, the Morgan Stanley broker who lost a $34 million arbitration case this week for unauthorized trading in the accounts of a client with whom she allegedly had an affair, was fired Wednesday, according to several sources.
Charles J. Lawrence, who has worked with Forte at the Palm Harbor, Florida, office of Morgan Stanley and Morgan Stanley Dean Witter since 1998, also was let go.
“They are no longer employed,” said a Morgan Stanley spokeswoman on Thursday morning, declining to elaborate on the departures of the brokers, including whether the departures were voluntary or forced.
Lawrence helped facilitate the execution of bond trades in the client’s account but was not named in the arbitration complaint, said Scott Ilgenfritz, a lawyer representing the Speer estate.
A Financial Industry Regulatory Authority arbitration panel on Monday found Morgan Stanley, Forte and her Palm Harbor branch manager Terry McCoy responsible for paying the $34 million of compensatory damages and legal costs to the estate of Home Shopping Network co-founder Roy Speer and an affiliated foundation.
McCoy remains with Morgan Stanley as do the two other financial advisers on Forte’s team, including her son, Evan.
McCoy and the Fortes did not respond to requests for comment. Lawrence could not immediately be reached for comment.
The Morgan Stanley spokeswoman earlier this week said the firm “does not believe the award is justified.”
Forte, who is believed to be in her late 50s, began her brokerage career with Prudential Securities in May 1994 and also sojourned at Barnett Investments, Banc of America Investment Services and Smith Barney before joining Morgan Stanley Dean Witter in April 1998, according to Finra’s BrokerCheck database. Barron’s has cited her as a Top 100 Woman advisor, and in 2013 she was named Businesswoman of the Year by the “Tampa Bay Business Journal.”