Former Morgan Stanley Advisor Ebbert Jones Had History of Investor Disputes
Ebbert Jones (CRD# 1226224), also known as Ashby Jones, has been involved in customer complaints alleging his investment recommendations led to substantial losses. According to his Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) BrokerCheck report, last accessed on December 8, 2021, Mr. Jones was previously registered with Morgan Stanley in Newport Beach, California.
Investor Settlements Totaled More than $200,000
FINRA records describe five customer complaints involving Ebbert Jones that resolved either with settlements or awards paid to the customer. Filed between 1993 and 2006, the complaints detail allegations of unsuitable investment recommendations, failure to follow instructions, misrepresentation of material facts, over-concentration, fraud, and breach of fiduciary duty. Two of the complaints resulted in FINRA arbitration awards to the customer totaling more than $37,000. The other three resulted in settlements of more than $200,000.
Understanding Suitability, Churning
It’s worth unpacking some of the allegations against Ebbert Jones, as they involve forms of broker misconduct that all investors should be aware of. Unsuitable recommendations are recommendations of investments or investment strategies that don’t align with the client’s individual needs. When opening a new account, brokers typically ascertain the investor’s profile, which includes factors like their investment experience, investment goals, income, net worth, risk tolerance, and more. This helps the broker determine whether investments are suitable for the customer: a long-term investment in an illiquid non-traded real estate investment trust (REIT), for instance, likely wouldn’t be suitable for an investor with a conservative risk tolerance and/or short-term liquidity needs. Brokers who recommend unsuitable investments or investment strategies may be found liable for damages and/or subject to disciplinary action.
Similarly, investment advisers are required to uphold a fiduciary duty to act only in their clients’ best interests. Advisers who breach this duty by putting their interest above their client’s—for instance, by engaging in churning, the practice of conducting a high number of trades that generate commissions to the broker while incurring high fees for the customer—may also be found liable for damages and/or subject to disciplinary action. More information on the suitability and fiduciary standards is available via FINRA and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Ebbert Jones no Longer Registered with Morgan Stanley
According to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Ebbert Jones’ 37 years of experience in the securities industry began in 1984, when he joined Merrill Lynch’s branch office in New York City. He left Merrill Lynch in 1999 for Prudential Securities, which he left in turn in 2003 for Wells Fargo Advisors in Newport Beach, California. In 2011 he moved from Wells Fargo Advisors to Morgan Stanley’s Newport Beach office, where he remained until his departure from the firm in November 2021. Records show that he has passed four securities industry examinations and is not currently registered with any state or firm.
For more information about Ashby Jones’ registration history and the customer complaints against him, visit his FINRA BrokerCheck report. (The above-referenced information was accessed on December 8, 2021.)