Morgan Stanley (MS) has let go of Galen Marsh, a 30-year-old financial adviser in its wealth management group, for stealing client information and allegedly making some of the data that he took available online. Some 350,000 of the brokerage firm’s 3.5 million wirehouse clients were affected. About 900 clients’ account names and numbers were briefly posted on the Internet.
Morgan Stanley discovered that Marsh had downloaded the client data, including account numbers, names, states of residence, and asset values. In a statement, the firm said that there is no proof of any financial loss sustained by the clients whose information was stolen. (Social security numbers and account passwords were not taken.)
The firm says it is notifying the clients who were affected. It has also reached out to regulators and law enforcement.
Meantime, Marsh’s attorney has said that the financial adviser is sorry for his behavior and never intended to sell the information that he took. The lawyer also said that Marsh was not the one who published the information online nor did he share the data with anyone or make a profit.
Marsh became a Morgan Stanley employee in 2008. Prior to joining the firm, he worked at Bear Stearns Cos. (BSC).
Even if no money has been lost to date related to Marsh’s actions, a breach of data still occurred. Morgan Stanley is giving account holders who were affected new account number and has put into place measures to monitor fraud and enhance security on the accounts.
Morgan Stanley Fires Employee Over Client-Data Leak, The Wall Street Journal, January 5, 2015
Fired Morgan Stanley Adviser Didn’t Sell Data, Lawyer Says, Bloomberg, January 5, 2015
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