Morgan Stanley Fires Harold Ford Jr. as an Adviser After Conduct Complaint -- Update

By Liz Hoffman Features Dow Jones Newswires

Morgan Stanley has fired former congressman Harold Ford Jr. as a senior adviser to the firm after investigating a claim of inappropriate conduct.

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A spokeswoman for the Wall Street bank said Mr. Ford had been fired for "conduct inconsistent with our values and in violation of our policies." A person familiar with the matter said the firm had received and verified at least one complaint that he had behaved inappropriately toward a woman.

A memo at the security desk at the firm's Manhattan headquarters on Thursday instructed staff not to allow Mr. Ford into the building.

Mr. Ford joined Morgan Stanley in 2011 as a senior adviser, a role that typically involves communicating with clients and appearing at firm events.

Morgan Stanley fired Mr. Ford after investigating a complaint that he had made inappropriate forcible advances toward a woman during a meeting several years ago, according to the person familiar with the matter. The woman didn't work at Morgan Stanley but met with Mr. Ford in his professional capacity at the firm, and recently flagged the incident to bank officials, this person said.

Mr. Ford, whose firing was earlier reported by the Huffington Post, said in a statement: "This simply did not happen. I have never forcibly grabbed any woman or man in my life."

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He said his accuser is a journalist and that he met her "at the direction of [Morgan Stanley] for business purposes." A lawyer for Mr. Ford called his firing "a matter of convenience during a hyper-sensitive time."

The son of a long-term Tennessee congressman, Mr. Ford served in the House of Representatives for a decade before running unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate in 2006. He worked for Merrill Lynch and its later parent, Bank of America Corp., before joining Morgan Stanley.

He also serves as a political analyst for MSNBC. A representative for MSNBC wasn't immediately available for comment.

--Peter Rudegeair contributed to this article.

Write to Liz Hoffman at liz.hoffman@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 07, 2017 15:58 ET (20:58 GMT)