Former Morgan Stanley banker could seek millions from ex-employer

william bryan jennings morgan stanley

William Bryan Jennings, left, with his lawyer, Gene Riccio, in October after leaving Stamford Court, which decided not to pursue charges against Jennings for assault, larceny and a hate crime.

There could be millions of dollars in deferred compensation available for William Bryan Jennings, the Darien banker who was accused of stiffing and stabbing a Queens cab driver last year after a ride home from Manhattan went awry.

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, Jennings was fired from Morgan Stanley in early October, just weeks before his trial commenced in Stamford court. Morgan Stanley officials told WSJ that Jennings breached the firm’s code of conduct by hurting Morgan Stanley’s reputation.

In a phone interview, Jennings confirmed with The Darien Times that the Journal’s article was accurate.

“Morgan Stanley wrongfully withheld a significant amount of deferred compensation from me,” Jennings said.

“Officials at the firm believe it owes him nothing, citing ‘clawback’ provisions that allow the company to withhold or seize pay from employees who hurt Morgan Stanley,” the article stated.

“The issue is not Mr. Jennings’ conduct,” a spokesman for Jennings told WSJ. “The issue is Morgan Stanley’s conduct. Morgan Stanley knew Mr. Jennings was victimized and still fired him and still kept his money.”

People close to Jennings told the news website that Morgan Stanley froze as much as $5 million or more, and that Jennings was earning around $3 million annually as the co-head of fixed income capital markets in North America.

Jennings, however, has yet to file any court claims for his money, according to WSJ. Jennings’ lawyer, Eugene Riccio, told The Times that Jennings was considering issuing a statement on the matter. Jennings later concurred with most of the assertions in the WSJ article.

All charges were dropped against Jennings in October, as the prosecuting attorney said charges should have also been filed against the cab driver, Mohammad Ammar, for abduction. Jennings had cut Ammar’s hand with a pen knife as the two squabbled over the fare, and Ammar had the knife for months after the incident, according to court records.

Stephen Weiss, supervisory assistant state’s attorney who prosecuted the case, said Ammar “didn’t tell anybody he had the knife.”

“We didn’t learn until May he had held evidence for five months,” Weiss said at the hearing. “His explanation for why he did this was no better than Mr. Jennings’” reason for not coming to police soon after the incident happened. For that reason, all charges were dropped.

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  • Teri

    Good Job getting Jennings on the record David. I think this just shows he has a stronger case to sue the town for a bad arrest

    Unfortunately he can’t sue the CT ASA who is really at fault here.

  • concernedcitizen552

    David didn’t get Jennings “on the record”. Ask David. Jennings called him voluntarily and confirmed portions of the Wall Street Journal story.

  • Be Investigative

    So hard to understand all of this… Morgan Stanley fires Jennings because he’s kidnapped by a taxi driver from his own driveway? After raising $50,000 for The Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital? Wow. Everyone seems to want to pick apart Jennings that evening, but what, exactly, did he do wrong? If he was kidnapped (and that appears to be established fact by the driver’s own admission), did Jennings not have every right to defend himself?

  • chris-noe

    No good deed will go unpunished.

  • jasmine311

    What happened was that Jennings’ town car did not show up to take him home from NYC so he booked a taxi to take him from NYC to Darien. The fair was $204. When Jennings arrived at his house, he tried to negotiate for the fare offering the driver $50. The driver refused, but Jennings refused to pay the set fare of $204, insisting on only paying $50.

    So then the driver attempted to drive to the police station with Jennings still in the car. Jennings took out a penknife and started stabbing the driver yelling racial epithets. Those are the facts of the case and can easily be substantiated in any reputable media outlet. If they could not do you really think Morgan Stanley would be cutting him loose? Should have paid the $204. Now that cab ride is costing 5 mill, LOL.

  • concernedcitizen552

    Jasmine — Pls do at least the minimum amount of research. You state all of this as if it is accepted fact and you are wrong. The fare was not $204. The driver asked for $294 according to Jennings, which is more double the cost of a town car from Manhattan to Darien. Jennings didn’t offer the driver $50. He offered him $160 (read Jennings statement). Further, why was the cab stopped on the on ramp to I-95 South if the cab driver was looking for the police department. The driver had just driven right past the Darien Fire Department and didn’t bother to stop there. Surely,, they could have told him where the police department. He was taking jennings back to New York and that is kidnapping (which the driver has admitted at this point). Jennings had every right to do whatever necessary given his life was now in danger. Morgan Stanley will lose this case badly because, no matter how smart they think they are from 45 miles away, they weren’t there and couldn’t possibly have a credible opinion on Jennings’ conduct that evening. Jennings will win far more than $5million. Pls do some work next time you blog about something you know nothing about.

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