CHICAGO, Ill. — Nationally renowned civil rights and personal injury attorney Ben Crump and the Stowell & Friedman law firm filed on behalf of plaintiffs Kwesi Coleman and Colonel Jeanna Pryor to reinstate their race discrimination case by Morgan Stanley in federal court.
The legal team represents a number of former Morgan Stanley employees who are seeking to end the firm’s decades-long systemic race discrimination. The lawsuit says for the 1% of Morgan Stanley financial advisors who are Black, the road to equity has been paved with numerous obstacles, including:
- Morgan Stanley pays white financial advisors 30% more than Black financial advisors and Black advisors have double the attrition rate of white financial advisors.
- Morgan Stanley excludes Black advisors from its most lucrative teams and denies them billions of dollars in client accounts, significantly diminishing their earnings.
- Morgan Stanley subjects Black advisors to racial slurs and a racially hostile work environment.
- Morgan Stanley denies victims who suffer race discrimination the right to legal collective action and public trials, and many have been forced to participate in secret arbitration in a forum controlled by and paid for by Morgan Stanley.
Morgan Stanley drags victims through years of aggressive legal maneuvers and secret arbitrations.
“The leaders at Morgan Stanley have consistently and systematically demonstrated that they don’t believe Black people can be successful financial advisors, despite all of their qualifications,” said Crump. “We won’t stand down in our pursuit of justice for those who have been treated unfairly by Morgan Stanley.”
Attorneys Ben Crump and Suzanne Bish have numerous clients who have experienced this career-stunting or career-ending discrimination firsthand and have shared their stories in hopes of encouraging systemic changes to Morgan Stanley’s practices. These are summaries of Colonel Jeanna Pryor’s and Kwesi Coleman’s cases:
- Colonel Jeanna Pryor (Ret.) – Retired Air Force Colonel with 36 years of service who previously managed billion-dollar budgets and served in the White House. Pryor endured false accusations that she was dishonest and stealing clients and was forced to report her whereabouts to an office assistant. Morgan Stanley told Pryor not to focus on Black clients and that Black people “don’t understand finances – they just want to buy things.”
- Kwesi Coleman – Highly credentialed MBA and CFP former financial advisor in Denver, CO. Coleman was excluded from lucrative all-white segregated advisor teams, and white colleagues declared Morgan Stanley a “white man’s business.” Morgan Stanley sought to steal Coleman’s clients and told him he could only advertise his coveted NFLPA certification if he agreed to give white financial advisors half of the credit and earnings from professional athlete clients he developed on his own. Morgan Stanley even refused to properly service Coleman’s black clients, making them jump through extra procedural hoops and denying them loans.
Attorneys and victims of discrimination by Morgan Stanley are urging Congress to expand the scope of a recently passed law banning forced arbitration for sexual harassment to also include racial harassment and all forms of discrimination.
ABOUT BEN CRUMP LAW
Through his work, nationally renowned civil rights and personal injury attorney Ben Crump has spearheaded a legal movement to better protect the rights of marginalized citizens. He has led landscape-changing civil rights cases and represented clients in a wide range of areas including civil rights, personal injury, labor and employment, class actions, and more. Ben Crump Law is dedicated to holding the powerful accountable. For more information, visit www.bencrump.com.
ABOUT STOWELL & FRIEDMAN
Stowell & Friedman, Ltd. is a civil rights law firm that has recovered over a billion dollars for employees who suffered race and sex discrimination and fought for reform in the financial services industry.