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Top broker leaves Morgan Stanley while under cloud


A Vero Beach investment executive who had been nationally recognized as one of Morgan Stanley’s top young producers left the firm last month while under internal review, according to multiple sources, including an industry news website. reported July 12 that Michael Kanner departed after the firm “put him on leave” earlier in the month for what one of the website’s sources said “may have involved relatively small indiscretions, including modifying a client’s already-signed signature page with a date.”

However, two local industry sources – both longtime financial advisors, speaking on the condition of anonymity – told Vero Beach 32963 last week it’s unusual for brokers, particularly top performers, to be suspended for such minor violations.

“You don’t do that type of review for correcting a date, so I’d be surprised if there weren’t more to it,” one source said. “I’d be more surprised if they weren’t doing an audit of his business practices.

“Suspensions are rare,” he added, “and when they happen, it’s a big deal.”

More unusual, the sources said, is for investment brokers to leave firms where they’ve been wildly successful – especially without taking with them members of their teams.

“Usually, if you go, you go as a group, so you can try to move your assets to the new firm,” one source said, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “It’s very unusual to go out on your own, because you’re probably not going to take many assets with you.”

According to AdvisorHub, Kanner had generated $3 million in commissions and fees and was overseeing “more than $500 million of assets” at Morgan Stanley. In 2017, when his group was managing nearly $850 million of customer assets, he was ranked No. 48 on Forbes’ list of 400 top millennial advisors who were born in 1980 or later.

Now registered with Raymond James Financial Services, Kanner, 39, has opened an office at 601 21st Street, Suite 300, in Vero Beach, where he is working as an independent broker under the Raymond James banner.

Kanner, who has worked as a financial advisor for 16 years and moved to Morgan Stanley from Edward Jones in 2009, did not return multiple messages left on this cellphone.

Trent Leyda, Kanner’s partner at Morgan Stanley for the past 10-plus years, continues to work there. Reached at his office, he declined to comment.

Morgan Stanley corporate spokeswoman Susan Siering confirmed Kanner’s departure, but she said she could not discuss the circumstances.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s website that provides consumers background information on all licensed financial advisors – – shows that Kanner has had two customer complaints filed against him.

One was closed without action after a former Edward Jones customer dropped the complaint. The other was settled for $5,017.21.

“Mike and Trent managed more money than anyone in that office, so this is a big blow to Morgan Stanley, locally,” one source said. “It’s also a big blow to Mike. It’s one thing to leave because you think you’ve got a better option, but, obviously, that’s not why he left.”