(Bloomberg) -- An ex-Morgan Stanley banker in its credit sales team is suing the lender over allegations she was fired in a “sham redundancy” in retaliation for raising concerns over potential market manipulation.
Taif Adams, an executive director in leveraged finance sales, filed a lawsuit against the bank for unfair dismissal alleging she was ostracized after reporting internal issues to compliance. A tribunal Judge in London on Friday refused her request for urgent interim measures, including getting her job back while the case progresses.
Adams claims that a colleague asked her the price that two asset management firms planned to tender Aston Martin’s bond last year prompting her to raise concerns, her lawyers said in the employment suit.
Adams has an arguable case at a full hearing but the court couldn’t be certain about the facts around whistle blowing at this stage, the judge said last week.
Rehan Latif, co-head of global credit and her boss, found out it was her who raised those concerns and he started to act with hostility toward her, she said in her witness statement. He told colleagues she would never make managing director, and used the firing as cover for the true reason she lost her job, her lawyers allege. Latif didn’t respond to an email seeking his comments.
Morgan Stanley denied the allegations and her version of events in court filings. Adams was promoted and handed six-figure bonuses after she raised her concerns, the bank’s lawyers said, adding that she shouldn’t be considered a whistleblower. A spokesperson for Morgan Stanley declined to comment.
Taif joined Morgan Stanley as an associate in 2016, and was promoted to executive director in 2019. In 2022, when she left on maternity leave, she was the top performer in European credit sales. On her return later that year, she was promoted to co-head of leveraged finance sales.
Bonuses worth over $450,000 and $350,000 in 2022 and 2023 respectively were paid to Adams and show the bank did not retaliate, the lender’s lawyers said. By March 2023 there were concerns about her “disengaging with the team and not communicating,” the bank’s lawyers said.
Her role was part of 523 redundancies in a wider headcount reduction, the bank’s lawyers said in documents. Adams declined to comment.
--With assistance from Donal Griffin.
©2023 Bloomberg L.P.