Tampa businesswoman Ami Forte settles with FINRA

Ami K. Forte, a former broker and managing director of Morgan Stanley, reached an agreement to resolve a pending Financial Industry Regulatory Authority proceeding which was based upon her alleged conduct while serving as one of the Morgan Stanley financial advisors for Roy Speer, a co-founder of the Home Shopping Network in St. Petersburg.

The offer of settlement essentially amends FINRA’s complaint so that the only remaining charge against Forte relates to trading in the Roy Speer accounts engaged in and overseen by other Morgan Stanley employees, not Forte herself, according to a statement from Forte’s attorney, Robert Pearl.

In entering into this settlement, Forte has not admitted any wrongdoing in connection with this remaining charge, the statement says.

“As specified in the settlement, I have admitted absolutely no wrongdoing. In addition, FINRA will not be pursuing any claims against me for monetary fines or any form of restitution.  In exchange, I have agreed with FINRA that I will no longer seek employment in the brokerage industry, an industry to which I devoted most of my adult life,” Forte says in the statement. “However, in light of my wrongful termination by Morgan Stanley, which is still being litigated, my career in the industry has been effectively ruined. That, coupled with the fact that this is occurring in the latter stage of my career, meant there was little prospect of my being able to re-enter the industry anytime in the foreseeable future. As I have previously stated, I neither placed nor supervised any of the trades that FINRA has deemed inappropriate.”

Under the terms of Forte’s settlement with FINRA, five of six allegations originally against her, those alleging her personal participation in wrongful conduct, were dropped by FINRA.

The only remaining allegation was that Forte failed to prevent other Morgan Stanley personnel from mishandling the Speer investment accounts, according to Pearl.

Forte is suing Morgan Stanley for tens of millions of dollars related to her alleged wrongful termination by the firm. That case remains pending.


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