401(k) Participant Wins FINRA Arbitration

A 401(k) participant claimed Morgan Stanley caused significant losses to his account after his request to move money out of the stock market was not acted upon. 

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) awarded Robert Bryant $80,504, as well as $1,500 in costs and $26,566 in lawyers’ fees. The awards were levied against Morgan Stanley, which managed the 401(k) plan for Bryant’s employer; broker James Miller was not named in the claim.

According to the FINRA document, Bryant accused Miller of rebuffing his “concerns” that the stock market was too risky for his 401(k) assets and that the best move was to transfer assets into cash holdings. Miller argued that Bryant should stay in the stock market. Morgan Stanley was liable for not effectively supervising Miller, Bryant charged.

Among other things, Morgan Stanley argued that Bryant’s losses were his own fault and that the company was not negligent in its dealings with Bryant.

The FINRA document is at http://finraawardsonline.finra.org/turing.aspx?doc=44949.