In a recent New York Times editorial, Goldman Sachs exec Greg Smith voiced his opinion on the real impetus behind stockbroker malpractice: the avarice of brokerage firms. According to Smith, the greed of investment banking firms is so great that it impels them to put extreme pressure on stockbrokers to sell with the best interest of the firm in mind — without regard for the financial wellbeing of clients. As stated by Mr. Smith:”My clients have a total asset base of more than a trillion dollars. I have always taken a lot of pride in advising my clients to do what I believe is right for them, even if it means less money for the firm. This view is becoming increasingly
Logo of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. Category:Goldman Sachs (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
unpopular at Goldman Sachs. Another sign that it was time to leave.”
Smith is not alone in his opinion, which is seconded by others in the world of finance, including Rall Capital Management’s Bob Rall, a fee-only advisor, and Russell G. Thornton, a VP at Wealthcare Capital. According to Rall, wirehouse firms do not focus on yield to the client (YTC). Instead, they focus on selling their proprietary investment products. And when a broker focuses on his or her own interests and the interests of brokerage firms rather than on client interests, the result is often a breach of fiduciary duty and stockbroker malpractice.
What Is a Wirehouse Broker?
A wirehouse broker works for a wirehouse brokerage firm (a national firm that has numerous branches). Ordinarily, wirehouse brokers are full-service stockbrokers who offer clients an array of services, from researching investment opportunities to buying and selling products. They are supposed to function as fiduciaries, not as sales reps for their firms.
Because wirehouse brokers have access to the numerous resources of the major brokerage house for which they work, including the house’s own investment products, they have long been considered superior to independent brokers—that is, until the financial debacle of 2007-08, which was precipitated by stockbroker fraud and the unethical practices of firms in pushing their proprietary investment products above more suitable client options.
Does Your Broker Put Your Financial Wellbeing First?
Today more than ever, investors must carefully examine the performance of their financial advisors in order to avoid investment loss.
Is your broker behaving more like a sales rep for a brokerage house than a fiduciary who is committed to your financial wellbeing? Is your broker aggressively pushing a firm’s proprietary products? Or is he or she offering sound investment advice based upon research and your unique needs and financial situation?
If you believe you have suffered investment loss due to a breach of fiduciary duty on the part of your broker, contact a stockbroker fraud lawyer today at Carlson Law, (619) 544-9300.
Tags: breach of fiduciary duty, Broker, Brokerage firm, Fiduciary, Finance, Goldman Sachs, Investment, investment loss, investment recovery, New York Times, Sales, Securities Fraud Attorney San Diego, stockbroker fraud, stockbroker fraud lawyer, stockbroker malpractice, Wall Street
Posted in Broker Fraud, Fiduciary Duty Breach, Investment Fraud, Negligent Misrepresentation, Securities Arbitration, Securities Fraud, Securities Law, Securities Litigation, Stock Fraud, Stock Loss | Comments (0)
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) recently received a withdrawal request from Boogie Investment Group, a small brokerage house that sold failed Provident Royalties private placements to its investors. Of the 52 brokerage houses that sold Provident private placements, Boogie Investment is the eleventh to call it quits this year.
Image via Wikipedia
Private placements amounting to roughly $410K were sold by Boogie, whose revenues dropped from 1.2M three years ago to $422K this last fiscal year. But reduced earnings aren’t the only reason Boogie is exiting the brokerage business. The company has been hard hit by securities litigation. The firm is not only fighting a class action suit comprised of investors to whom they sold Provident private placements, but it’s also contending with a suit filed by those who bought Provident Shale Royalties products. Moreover, Boogie is combating other lawsuits that are unrelated to its sale of Provident Royalties private placements.
FINRA has forcefully dealt with brokerage firms as well individual brokers who sold private placements, alleging that they failed in their due diligence, both in investigating the placements and in assessing their suitability for their clients.
Other defunct brokers who sold Provident Royalties private placements include Workman Securities, Investlinc Securities/Meadowbrook, WFP Securities, Okoboji Financial, Matheson Securities, United Equity, CapWest, Private Asset Group Inc., Community Banker Securities LLC, E-Planning Securities Inc., Empire Financial, GunnAllen Financial and Barron Moore.
Have you incurred investment loss due to broker misconduct? Contact a stockbroker fraud lawyer in San Diego. It may be possible for you to recoup some or all of your losses. For a free consultation, contact Daniel Carlson, Esq. at Carlson Law 619-544-9300.
Tags: Boogie Investment Group, broker misconduct, brokerage house, CapWest, Community Banker Securities LLC, E-Planning Securities Inc., Empire Financial, FINRA, GunnAllen Financial and Barron Moore, Investlinc Securities/Meadowbrook, investment loss, investors, Matheson Securities, Medical Capital, Okoboji Financial, Private Asset Group Inc., private placements, Provident, Provident Royalties, Securities Fraud Attorney San Diego, Securities Lawyer, Securities Litigation, stockbroker fraud lawyer, United Equity, WFP Securities, Workman Securities
Posted in Fiduciary Duty Breach, Investment Fraud, Negligent Misrepresentation, Securities Arbitration, Securities Fraud, Securities Law | Comments (0)
Annabel McClellan, the wife of Arnold McClellan, who was formerly the head of Deloitte Tax LP’s Mergers and Acquisitions, has settled a lawsuit
Image via Wikipedia
alleging that she provided confidential information regarding mergers to family members. If the judge accepts Annabel’s $1M settlement, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has agreed to drop comparable charges against her husband.
According to the Commission, Annabel gave confidential insider information to her sister, Miranda Sanders, and Miranda’s husband James, on at least seven occasions. The Sanders used the information to make trades that earned them millions of dollars. The SEC claims that James Sanders, who is the proprietor of a financial firm, not only used the tips for his own advantage but also to the benefit of his partners and customers, who also made millions. The SEC further alleges that James took positions with companies in the U.S. that Annabel told him were targeted for acquisition. According to Annabel, her husband was unaware that she was providing confidential information to her sister and brother-in-law.
By settling the lawsuit, Annabel is neither admitting nor denying the charges against her. However, she has pled guilty to lying to the SEC during their investigation of the insider trading scam.
Annabel and Arnold McClellan were first charged by the SEC in 2010 after investigations were conducted simultaneously by the SEC, the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Financial Services Authority (FSA).
Insider trading is breach of fiduciary duty on the part of a financial officer.
As such, it negatively affects the stock market in various ways. Most obviously, it hurts investor confidence. When a company’s confidential information is used for the benefit of a few, it may also harm the company, ultimately causing financial loss. When insider trader occurs, who is held responsible for this breach of trust? All of the parties involved. That includes the individual who passes the tip along and the person who receives it, as well as anyone who trades based upon illegally obtained insider information.
Are you are aware of an insider trading situation that has been detrimental to your financial welfare? If you feel that you are, contact a securities litigation attorney immediately. For a free consultation, contact security lawyer Dan Carlson of Carlson Law in San Diego today.
Tags: breach of fiduciary duty, Dan Carlson, financial loss, insider trading, Lawsuit, scam, SEC, Securities Fraud Attorney San Diego, Securities Litigation, Security Lawyer
Posted in Securities Law | Comments (0)
Image via Wikipedia
In its roles as conservator for Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, the
Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) filed securities lawsuits against 17
financial entities in federal court as well as in the state courts of
Connecticut and New York in early September 2011. In the lawsuits the FHFA
alleges that the financial institutions, which range from Bank of America and
Citigroup to Deutsche Bank and Credit
Suisse, violated numerous federal securities and common laws in their sales of
mortgage-backed securities. Citing the Securities Act of 1933, the FHFA seeks
both civil penalties and damages.
According to an FHFA press release, Bank of America and its
fellow financial institutions committed a breach of fiduciary duty when they provided
Fanny May and Freddie Mac with misleading loan descriptions. These
descriptions, which were part of sales and marketing materials, failed to
reveal the true character of the loans, particularly their risk factors. In
other words, they constituted banking fraud.
The current FHFA lawsuit is part of a continuing effort on
the part of Congress and regulators to deal with institutions that engaged in
practices that precipitated the financial crisis of 2008, a crisis in which
risky mortgage-backed securities played an important role. The Washington Post estimates that almost
$200 billion in risky securities were sold to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.
Regardless of possible negative effects on the financial
sector and on the recovery process of the housing market, the government appears
to be stepping up its efforts to recover the financial losses investors
incurred during the 2008 crisis. These recent FHFA lawsuits are comparable to
an earlier lawsuit in 2011 which the FHFA filed against UBS Americas, Inc.
If you believe that you have
experienced investment loss due to the misleading marketing practices of a
banking institution, contact an investment recovery lawyer in San Diego today
at Carlson Law.
Tags: Bank of America, banking fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, Fannie Mae, Federal Housing Finance Agency, FHFA, Freddie Mac, investment loss, investment recovery lawyer, Securities Act of 1933, Securities Fraud Attorney San Diego, securities lawsuits, UBS, Washington Post
Posted in Investment Fraud, Negligent Misrepresentation | Comments (0)
Ambac Financial Group Inc., as well as several of its banking underwriters and insurers, has agreed to pay a total of $33M in order to settle claims of investment fraud. According to investors who experienced significant financial loss, the parties involved hid risks from investors about the mortgage debt it guaranteed.
The primary claimants in the case are the Arkansas Teachers Retirement System, the Public Employees’ Retirement System of Mississippi and the Public School Teachers’ Pension and Retirement Fund of Chicago. These claimants allege securities fraud in regard to Ambac bonds and stocks purchased from October 25, 2006 to April 22, 2008.
According to the suit, Ambac gave out misleading information regarding the safety of the bonds it insured in order to inflate the value of the securities. Claimants further allege that Ambac, which insured instruments related to high-risk mortgages, hid its involvement in the subprime loan disaster, an involvement that became clear when the housing market collapsed in 2008. According to the suit, Ambac falsely claimed that it insured the “safest” transactions, when in reality it guaranteed billions of high-risk residential mortgage debt and collateralized debt obligations that were high risk in pursuit of big profit.
Once a federal court has approved the settlement proposal, Ambac will pay claimants 2.5M. Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, HSBC Holding and Wachovia (now a part of Wells Fargo) will pay a combined total of $5.9 million. The four insurance companies involved will pay a total of $24.5M.
If you believe that you’ve been a victim of securities fraud, contact an investment recovery lawyer. Like the claimants in the Ambac case, you could recoup some or all of your financial loss through securities arbitration or litigation. Contact Carlson Law today at 619-544-9300 for a free consultation.
Tags: Ambac Financial Group, Citigroup, financial loss, free consultation, Goldman Sachs, Insurance, Investment Fraud, investment recovery lawyer, Merrill Lynch, Plaintiff, Securities Arbitration, Securities Fraud, Securities Fraud Attorney San Diego, Wells Fargo
Posted in Fiduciary Duty Breach, Investment Fraud, Negligent Misrepresentation, Securities Fraud, Securities Law, Securities Litigation | Comments (1)
Image via Wikipedia
High net-worth investors will enjoy lower fees—that is, if the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC’s) proposed changes to performance based fees proceed as planned.
The SEC intends to increase the dollar thresholds investors must meet before financial professional can charge them performance based fees. Currently, the thresholds are determined under two provisos of Rule 205-3 of the Investment Advisers Act: (1) brokers must have a reasonable belief that the client has a net worth of more than $1.5M, or (2) they must manage a minimum of $750,000 worth of investments for the client.
According to investment recovery lawyer Daniel Carlson of Carlson Law Firm, APC the current Act contains inherent risks for the average investor because it could encourage brokers to take big risks in order to make bigger fees: “If a high-risk investment fails, brokers don’t experience the financial consequences personally, but investors, particularly retirees, can end up losing everything.”
The SEC says it will issue an order revising the test for allowing performance fees to (1) a reasonable belief that the investor has $2 million in net worth or (2) $1 million of assets under management. In addition, the SEC order will exclude an investors primary residence from consideration in the 2 million dollars net worth evaluation, add a method for factoring inflation into the dollar amount tests.
If you are a high net-worth investor and have been exposed to unsuitable risk, you may have a claim for recovery of your losses. Contact Carlson Law at 619-544-9300 for a free consultation.
Tags: 1940 Investment Advisers Act, accredited investor, Broker, broker fees, Dodd-Frank, Fee, financial loss, high-risk investment, Investing, Investment, investment recovery lawyer, Investor, Securities Fraud Attorney San Diego, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
Posted in Fiduciary Duty Breach, Securities Law, Uncategorized | Comments (1)
According to a May 5, 2011 Investment News article, Wells Fargo took as many as 153 days to deliver prospectuses to more than 900,000 clients who purchased mutual funds in 2009. (Securities law requires that prospectuses be delivered to purchasers within three days of the buy.) For dragging their feet, the company has been fined $1M by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
Wells Fargo also allegedly failed to take action to remedy the situation after learning that up to 9 percent of its customers had not received prospectuses within the requisite three days.
FINRA enforcement chief Brad Bennett stressed the importance of prospectuses to customers, as they contain important data regarding a fund’s costs, plans, performance history and risks. By failing to deliver prospectuses in a timely manner, said Bennett, Well Fargo deprived its customers of key information.
According to the article, Wells Fargo further broke FINRA rules by failing to report client complaints. Neither did the company disclose all arbitration claims that involved its representatives within the required 30 days.
Were you one of Wells Fargo’s more than 900,000 unlucky customers? If you suffered financial loss as a result of the company’s misconduct, contact an investment recovery attorney at Carlson Law.
Tags: financial loss, FINRA, investment recovery attorney, mutual fund, mutual funds, prospectus, Securities Fraud Attorney San Diego, securities lawsuit, Wells Fargo
Posted in Fiduciary Duty Breach, Negligent Misrepresentation, Securities Arbitration, Securities Law, Stock Loss | Comments (2)