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In Wake Of Exec “Accidentally” Stabbing A Cab Driver, Morgan Stanley Insists You Ask, “What Would The Post Say?”

A year ago this Friday, a Morgan Stanley banker named William Bryan Jennings attended a couple holiday parties, drank a few Coors Lights, and around 10:30PM hailed a cab and asked the driver, Helmy Ammar, to take him home to Connecticut. On the way, a hungry WBJ requested they stop at G&G Deli off 10th Avenue, where he bought “a 20 oz. bottle of Aquafina water, a sandwich and some Burger King cheesy fries.” As the cab entered approached Jennings’ hometown of Darien, a dispute reportedly broke out as to what the fare for the ride would be. Ammar claims that they’d agreed on $204 before leaving Manhattan, but once in Connecticut, Jennings said he’d only pay $50. Jennings claims that Ammar jacked the price up to $300 and was unhappy when the banker offered $160. Another matter of he said/he said is whether or not Jennings started shouting racial slurs at Ammar and told him, “I’m going to kill you. You should go back to your country!” (Jennings denies this happened and says that Ammar locked the doors and wouldn’t let him out of the cab.)

The one aspect of the story that is not in dispute is that as tensions flared, WBJ whipped out a pen knife he had in his pocket. For those of you reading from Morgan Stanley, this is where the teachable moments occurs: if you ever find yourself in a situation wherein you’re winding up to stab a cab driver in the hand, stop and ask yourself, “Is this going to look bad in the Post tomorrow morning?” Jennings did not and now this is happening:

[Jennings] was fired in early October, two weeks before the [prosecutors dropped assault and hate-crime charges against him]. A brief letter to him didn’t go into much detail, but Morgan Stanley officials have said Mr. Jennings breached the securities firm’s 22-page code of conduct, according to people familiar with the matter. Now the banker, who goes by “Bryan,” and his former bosses are in a tug of war over millions of dollars in deferred compensation that Mr. Jennings accumulated during his 19-year career at the New York company. 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. Since the financial crisis, Morgan Stanley and other firms have expanded such policies to cover behavior that contributed to outsize losses or reputational harm, rather than just outright fraud or financial misstatements.

A Morgan Stanley spokeswoman said the firm doesn’t comment on specific instances or individuals but that “the clawback provisions in our compensation model allow us to take action where appropriate.” People close to Mr. Jennings say Morgan Stanley refused to give him a deferred-compensation payment in June and has frozen as much as $5 million or more, depending on how the payout is calculated… Mr. Jennings’s firing was a reminder that embarrassing the company can cost employees as much as poor job performance. “How would my action appear as a headline in tomorrow’s newspaper?” is one of five questions Morgan Stanley employees are told in its code of conduct to “consider…before you act.”

According to the Journal, “the position taken by Morgan Stanley goes all the way to the top, including Chairman and Chief Executive James Gorman and Chief Legal Officer Eric Grossman” and in addition to canning the guy, someone at the bank who apparently specializes in rubbing salt in the wound put his best men on this:

Mr. Jennings is mad that Morgan Stanley left all his personal belongings from the office piled up in boxes in his driveway, people close to him say.

Obviously the question many of you are asking yourselves at this time is, in what matter did WBJ find his stuff: haphazardly strewn all over the place or piled in bankers boxes at the foot of his driveway? In our professional opinions, it was clearly the latter, as stacking them neatly– and acting all, “What? This is standard operating procedure”– seems to strike a much harsher note.* As would putting Jennings’ picture as a footnote to the section about not embarrassing the firm in the company handbook, next to Phil Purcell’s, added as a deterrent for anyone thinking of “violently berating a doorman, spitting in a waitress’s face, telling off a cop, parking in a handicapped space, and killing a hooker” (all in one night).

A Banker’s Costly Ride [WSJ]
Earlier: Morgan Stanley Exec “Accidentally” Stabs Cab Driver After Difference Of Opinion Re: Fare; Morgan Stanley Exec Maintains Innocence Re: Stabbing Cab Driver; Morgan Stanley Exec Who “Accidentally” Stabbed Cab Driver After Difference Of Opinion Re: Fare Gets Off; Morgan Stanley Executive Pretty Pleased To Have Stabbing Charges Dropped
*Don’t be fooled into thinking it was a nice gesture to deliver his stuff– this was clearly done to say, “Here’s your shit. We’ll just leave it at the foot of our driveway, since you don’t have an office anymore.

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42 Responses to “In Wake Of Exec “Accidentally” Stabbing A Cab Driver, Morgan Stanley Insists You Ask, “What Would The Post Say?””

  1. Lowly Assistant says:

    Aquafina? Seriously?

    -Guy That Exclusively Drinks NYC Tap Water Or Malt Liquor

  2. Im_a_Dude says:

    The handbook at Goldman says "what would Dealbreaker say?"

  3. Conan The Destoyer says:

    The guy's face looks as if he's zeroing in on some new prey.

  4. Anmar's Attorney says:

    Can't decide if this is good news or bad news….

    Always nice to have a defendant lose their corporate legal team…..

    But at the same time… he's got $5mm less to lose… hrmmmmmmm

  5. E. Texas Gas Trader says:

    We're sitting around trying to figure out where someone would have to be on "The Ten Stages Of Drunkeness" when a knife would come out. I think these came from Dan Jenkins in his book "Semi Tough" which has to do with a Fort Worth feller playing for the New York Giants.

    The Ten Stages of Drunkenness:

    1. Witty and charming

    2. Rich and famous

    3. Benevolent

    4. Clairvoyant

    5. "Fuck dinner!"

    6. Patriotic

    7. "Crank up the Enola Gay, dude"

    8. Witty and charming; Part 2

    9. Invisible

    10. Bulletproof

  6. Guest says:

    He looks like he could use an injection of my hot beef needle.

    -Chaz

  7. WBJennings says:

    Sorry for partying.

    -WBJ

  8. St. Copious says:

    Want your money from Morgan Stanley? Simple. Tell the cabdriver he gets 50 grand of every million in comp morgan stanley coughs up, subject to him stating publicly and often (at the direction of a PR firm you hire) that you are in fact innocent, it was a mixup, you don't deserve to have lost your job, etc, etc.

    No victim. No crime. What's morgan stanley going to say to an arbitrator or judge? And way cheaper than a lawyer.

  9. $100 says:

    So, the $300 it was "jacked up" to, vs. the $204 agreed upon – the calculus is: future of (Bryan's career + Bryan's deferred comp) < $96. And he was on a trading desk?

  10. Chesty Lareau says:

    He's no William Jennings Bryan.

  11. Guest says:

    Word on the street is Helmy Ammar delivered the boxes to the driveway for $50.

  12. Ronald says:

    A goldie employee would never eat those fries.

    • Former UBS quant says:

      Sure they do – they always say Yes when I ask if they want fries with their Whopper ™ Sandwich Meal.

  13. I find it hard to get to that mental place (drunk or not) where you take a cab to Connecticut and try to haggle. Really, you feel so powerless in your own life that you try to intimate a driver who earns 1/10th of your salary?

  14. Mrs_Slocombe says:

    Come-on, taking a cab from NYC to Darien at 10:30PM—total B.S.

    Sounds like “Big Billy’s” “holiday party” was a junket to Scores; by 10:30 the tarts had liquored him-up, maxed-out his credit cards and left him with his “safety hundo”. After the cheesy fires and bladder-buster, Big Billy was a little light when they rolled-up to the old Casa. Smelling like stripper and Burger Dump, he though the prospect brandishing the pen-knife would produce better results than asking his wife for $200 in cash. Clearly, a bad decision.

  15. guest says:

    We're planning a whole series on residents who have trash in their driveways BEFORE collection day.
    Please contact us with photos, eyewitness reports ASAP.

    Darien Patch

  16. OC movers says:

    Nice content with lots of information! After visiting your content I’ve found lots of unknown information about cab driver. All the information about cab driver seems to me pretty and outstanding. Thanks for this allocation.

  17. It's kinda horrible when you think about it. Cases like theses happen everyday when internationals are just trying to make a living. Although, you can have some drivers who are just plain rude and conniving….

  18. In a number of cities we have found that people are enjoying late night parties and after that book a cab to reach their homes in the above article we have found the same circumstance repeated; but before get into the cab or heir the cab we should be more consider on the traveling expense first which gives a way to deal with such a situation.

  19. The post is great. I love to read read such post as it contains a lot of information. Thanks for sharing ..

  20. Actually car crash happens because of two reasons. One is because of the drivers fault and another is because of the vehicles break down. So, whether there is am celebrity or a common person if any one of them did these things he/she must be punished. Actually to control these car accidents we have to drive carefully and also we have to repair our car from good repair centers whenever required to get better performance from it and also for the cars better running. .

  21. I don't have any advice for you. I hate change. And I'm a bundle of stressors right now too. What I can say is this: I don't care where you live, if you want me to be your friend, you've got it. xo