Morgan Stanley seeks clawbacks from Jennings
Morgan Stanley bond executive William Bryan Jennings suffered utter humiliation when he allowed himself to become embroiled in a tabloid-worthy scandal that ended up with his arrest on charges of second-degree assault and "intimidation of bias."
The dispute involved cab driver and an argument over the proper taxi fare from Manhattan to Jennings' home in Darien, Conn. The disagreement escalated into an in-taxi altercation during which Jennings was alleged to have used small knife. The cab driver ended up with six stitches.
The charges were eventually dropped, and Jennings claimed victory. But remains much less than a victor in the eyes of Morgan Stanley. There was a day when fellow executives might have rallied around one of their own, but not in this case. Not when you end up in the tabloids for silly reasons.
According to media reports, Jennings's office belongings were delivered to his driveway in boxes and now the bank would like to inflict more humiliation by clawing back around $5 million in funds that had been amassed as part of Jenning's deferred compensation plan.
New York magazine thinks the company is treating him unfairly.
"I have no doubt that Morgan Stanley was well within its legal rights to fire Jennings — he's an at-will employee, like everyone else. But clawing back his bonus reeks of selective punishment," the magazine notes.
I agree with that sentiment. Morgan Stanley is no doubt sending a message to its executives that it's not going to sit back and let them embarrass the company with sophomoric after-hours shenanigans. Jennings has contested the clawback legally. It will be interesting to see how it plays out in court. Some sort of settlement may be in order, as the bank will not want to see this in the headlines much longer.
- here's the article