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$1.4B team quits Morgan Stanley to go indie

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A former Morgan Stanley team that managed $1.4 billion in client assets left the firm to join independent broker-dealer Insigneo, according to the firm.

The Los Angeles-based team was referred to Insigneo by Sanctuary Wealth, which collaborated on the transition. Sanctuary has also been adding to it’s ranks, most recently bringing on another ex-Morgan Stanley team.

The breakaway team is headed by managing partner Antoine Souma. He has 19 years of industry experience, having worked at UBS, Deutsche Bank, J.P. Morgan Securities, according to FINRA BrokerCheck records. He had been with Morgan Stanley for four years before making his latest career move.

“I was impressed by Insigneo's open platform and expertise,” Souma said in a statement. “Their focus on my business needs and the flexibility of their platform are quite unique.”

His team, which goes by the name Galliott Capital Advisors, serves ultrahigh-net-worth entrepreneurs and their families in the Middle East and Latin America.

The name Galliott is derived from a nautical term. “It refers to a light and fast ship with a shallow draft that allows it to move swiftly and deftly to its destination,” Souma said. “It symbolizes our ability to navigate across all economic conditions with the level of expertise needed at different times and across generational clients.”

BrokerCheck also shows two disclosures for Souma, one of which was a client complaint settled in 2016 for $14 million. The claimant in the settlement alleged, among other things, “excessive and unsuitable trading,” “falsified performance reports,” and “failure to extend a promised credit line.” In a note contained in the disclosure, Souma “vehemently denies” the allegations. The firm paid the settlement.

Souma declined a Financial Planning request for further comment on the matter.

The Galliott team also includes COO Zenia Delgado, Chief Administrative Officer Julie Ahn, Operations Manager Azelia Betancourt, and Investment Associate Talal Attieh.

“These are top-caliber professionals with a proven track record and a fine set of loyal clients,” Insigneo CEO Daniel de Ontañon said of the Galliott team in a statement.

Insigneo has more than $8 billion in client assets and 150 advisors, according to the firm.

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