The man behind the family office of Elon Musk — the same firm that’s handling the planned $44 billion acquisition of social media platform Twitter — is a former Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch financial advisor.

Musk’s vast fortune is in the hands of Austin, Texas-based family office Excession — which is also the title of an Iain Banks sci-fi novel about artificial intelligence that Musk was spotted carrying at a conference in 2015, Reuters writes.

At the head of Excession is Jared Birchall, who has been advising Musk on Wall Street dealings for several years, according to regulatory filings and legal documents cited by the newswire.

Birchall began his career in finance in 1999 as a financial analyst at Goldman Sachs, Reuters writes, citing his LinkedIn profile. He then registered with Merrill in Los Angeles in 2002, according to BrokerCheck.

The wirehouse discharged him in January 2010 over alleged “[c]onduct resulting in management's loss of confidence including, sending correspondence to a client without management approval,” according to his record.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, which administers BrokerCheck, and Merrill did not respond to Reuters’ request for comment.

Birchall quickly ended up at Morgan Stanley, registering with the firm in March 2010 as a wealth manager, according to BrokerCheck and Reuters.

After his registration with Morgan Stanley ended in March 2016, Birchall did not register with any other Finra or Securities and Exchange Commission-registered firms as a broker or advisor, according to his record.

Excession had only two staff in 2019, Musk said during a defamation trial at the time, according to the newswire. The identity of the second person is unknown, Reuters writes.

In addition to being listed as the manager of the family office as recently as last year, Birchall is also director at Musk's tunneling firm the Boring Company, the chief executive of the billionaire’s neurotech firm Neuralink and a board member at Musk's philanthropic foundation, according to the newswire.

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