Avoid The MCMP Retirement Planning Group – Morgan Stanley (Updated 2024)

If you’re looking for a skilled wealth management firm, you might come across the name of the MCMP Retirement Planning Group. This firm has started using various unethical tactics to leech funds off of its clients. 

Before you trust them with your portfolio and retirement, it would be best to learn about their unethical tactics. It will help you make a well-informed decision about their reliability: 

About the MCMP Retirement Planning Group

The MCMP Retirement Planning Group is a financial advisory firm in Chicago, Illinois. Its address is 227 W Monroe St Suite 3400, Chicago, IL 60606, US and the contact number is 312-648-3600. 

The managing director of this firm is Michael Cohen. Other prominent people at this firm are Benjamin L Keith, Martin K Pawelec, Alphonse L Gray, and Christopher L Menconi. 

The MCMP Retirement Planning group claims to help individuals simplify their financial lives and retire with confidence. They claim to offer insightful, timely, and unbiased financial advice to their clients. 

The firm also claims to offer individually managed retirement portfolios and a competitive fee structure. 

They offer many services to their clients including the following:

  • Estate planning strategies
  • Retirement planning
  • Planning for education funding
  • 401(k) rollovers
  • Stock plan services
  • Professional portfolio management
  • Long-term care insurance
  • Trust accounts

And more. 

While the claims of this firm are quite attractive, they are mostly lies. That’s because the firm’s terms and conditions have a plethora of conflicts of interest, which incentivize them to ignore their clients’ requirements. The next section of this review will shed more light on these problematic provisions: 

Red Flags in the MCMP Retirement Planning Group

Michael Cohen’s Long List of Client Disputes

Whenever you start looking into a financial advisor, it’s best to check their professional history. You can do so by visiting their FINRA BrokerCheck profile. There, you can learn about their state licenses, the exams they have passed, and most importantly, the legal disputes they have faced

FINRA is a tool for Broker-check. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority is an American corporation with private ownership. The firm is a self-regulatory organization that affects the member brokerage firms and exchange markets. 

Michael Cohen, the MD of the MCMP Retirement Planning Group, has faced 3 disputes with his clients so far. 

The first dispute occurred in 2003. Here, the client alleged misrepresentation and mismanagement of their account from 8/95 to 11/02. They didn’t specify any damages. 

However, Michael’s firm denied the claim without specifying on what grounds his firm did so. 

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His second dispute occurred in 2004. Here, the client alleged that Michael purchased high-risk stocks at inflated prices and sold them at great losses. Also, the client alleged poor account management and negligence between 1999-2002. 

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They requested $274,556.88 in damages. 

However, the firm denied the complaint. Again, there isn’t any information available on how they were able to deny such a prominent claim so easily. 

Michael’s third dispute also occurred in 2004. Here, the claimant alleged misrepresentation, negligence, failure to supervise, unsuitability, and breach of contract from December 2002. They requested $137,000 in damages and settled the case for $8,954. 

Like in the last two disclosures, Michael has withheld a lot of vital information about this dispute. Still, facing multiple disputes for misrepresentation and negligence is not a good sign. It suggests Michael and his firm, the MCMP Retirement Planning Group, aren’t as reliable as they claim to be.

Earning Commissions from Investment Products

The MCMP Retirement Planning Group earns a lot of commission from recommending proprietary and affiliated investment products. When an advisor earns commissions from certain investments, it becomes difficult to trust their recommendations. 

That’s because they have a monetary incentive for preferring certain investment products over others regardless of their suitability for their clients. 

Ideally, you would expect your financial advisor to recommend investments solely on their suitability for your financial requirements. However, earning commissions introduces bias in this process. It encourages the advisor to ignore your requirements as they can more from the sale of specific securities. 

Also, different securities offer different commissions. Hence, the advisor might recommend you an unsuitable investment simply because it generates higher commissions than others. 

This can be particularly dangerous for investors looking to plan for retirement. 

Another huge issue in the MCMP Retirement Planning Group’s disclosures is that it performs side-by-side management. This means they handle large funds and small retail accounts at the same time. 

Financial advisory firms that perform side-by-side management tend to allocate most of their resources to their larger clients, leaving little to nothing for the small clients. 

To handle this issue, firms like the MCMP Retirement Planning Group give cookie-cutter advice to their smaller clients. There’s nothing worse than receiving generalized investment recommendations when you’re paying hefty fees. 


The questionable past of its leadership and the problematic provisions of the firm make it extremely difficult to trust the MCMP Retirement Planning Group. 

While there are plenty of retirement planning experts in Chicago, it’s clear that the MCMP Group isn’t a reliable one. You should find a different firm which is free from such horrendous problems.

2.8Expert Score
Not worth the risk

The MCMP Retirement Planning Group Morgan Stanley thinks too highly of itself. This firm has way too many red flags such as giving generalized financial advice and having a dispute-laden history. Avoid.

Concern for Clients
  • None
  • Faced numerous legal complaints
  • Earning commissions
  • Giving cookie-cutter advice

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