Articles by Mason Braswell
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Morgan Stanley Ties Hands of Broker Who Jumped After Protocol Exit

Morgan Stanley Ties Hands of Broker Who Jumped After Protocol Exit—Sources

by Mason Braswell, Jed Horowitz
11/21/17 | News | 5 Comments

Sending a message about its ferocity in pursuing departed brokers, firm seeks and wins restraining order silencing a Florida broker who joined a competitor.

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Navy Reservist Brings Discrimination Claim Against Morgan Stanley

Navy Reservist Brings Discrimination Claim Against Morgan Stanley

by Mason Braswell
11/20/17 | News | 6 Comments

Broker in Naperville, Ill., claims firm trumped up a termination charge so it would not have to pay $1.5 million of a forgivable loan while he was on active duty, while it says he violated outside business activity rules.

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Ex-Morgan Stanley Broker to Pay $1.4 Million After Epic 7-Year Arbitration War

Ex-Morgan Stanley Broker to Pay $1.4 Million After Epic 7-Year Arbitration War

by Mason Braswell
11/17/17 | Enforcement

Company prevails in promissory note claim, but fails to recover millions in legal and hearing fees.

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Merrill Golden Ager (Almost!) Goes Indie with LPL

Merrill Golden Ager (Almost!) Goes Indie with LPL

by Mason Braswell
11/15/17 | Advisor Moves | 13 Comments

In his fiftieth year as a member of the Thundering Herd, Ronald Scott embraces change.

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Great Lakes, an RIA Roll-Up, Replaces Founder

Great Lakes, an RIA Roll-Up, Replaces Founder

by Mason Braswell
11/15/17 | News

Craig Cmiel, a former UBS manager who co-founded Great Lakes & Atlantic Wealth Management in 2014, has stepped down.

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Ex-Merrill Lynch Broker in Expense Fray Signs Up Quickly with UBS Ex-Pats

Ex-Merrill Broker in Expense Fray Signs Up Quickly with UBS Ex-Pats

by Mason Braswell
11/14/17 | Advisor Moves

Chad Pouliot, million-dollar advisor discharged in October, joins former UBS broker Phil Fiore at his new RIA, Procyon Partners.

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Wells Taps Former RBC Veteran, Two Insiders to Fill Regional Vacancies

Wells Taps Former RBC Veteran, Two Insiders to Fill Regional Vacancies

by Mason Braswell
11/13/17 | News | 4 Comments

Mary Sumners, 25-year veteran of Dain/RBC, takes reins of Wells Advisors’ northern region in Minneapolis, sources said.

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“Disaster” Looms in Dearth of Small-Advisor Exams: Former SEC Chair

“Disaster” Looms in Dearth of Small-Advisor Exams: Former SEC Chair

by Mason Braswell
11/10/17 | News | 6 Comments

Mary Jo White says her inability to pass a uniform fiduciary standard remains the biggest disappointment of her tenure and warns that the 12% annual exam rate of registered investment advisers is a time-bomb.

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Morgan Stanley Parts Ways with High-Profile Head of Sports Unit

Morgan Stanley Parts Ways with High-Profile Head of Sports Unit

by Mason Braswell
11/9/17 | News | 3 Comments

Drew Hawkins abruptly leaves after spending his 28-year career at the firm.

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HighTower Broker Hosted Mnuchin and Ivanka Trump Didnt Like What He Heard

HighTower Broker Hosted Mnuchin and Ivanka Trump, Didn’t Like What He Heard

by Mason Braswell
11/7/17 | News | 5 Comments

California advisor David Bahnsen, after making waves about pardoning Michael Milken, says GOP tax plan is a mess for individuals.

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Two Edward Jones Brokers in Ohio Defect for Indie Firms

Two Jones Brokers in Ohio Defect for Indie Firms

by Mason Braswell
11/7/17 | Advisor Moves | 16 Comments

One sought more flexibility at Raymond James Financial Services while another says he liked Prospera Financial’s “culture.”

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Another Longtime Merrill Executive Hangs Up His Spurs

by Mason Braswell
11/3/17 | News | 14 Comments

John Hogarty, chief operating officer of Bank of America’s wealth business and a defender of Merrill’s compensation plans, to retire at yearend.

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Threat of Prison in Tom Buck Churning Case Alarms Brokers

Threat of Prison in Tom Buck Churning Case Alarms Brokers

by Mason Braswell
11/1/17 | News | 24 Comments

Former Merrill broker’s plan to plead guilty to overcharging customers, raises questions about commission accounts and how far firms and prosecutors may go to limit them.

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Renegade Merrill Lynch Broker Tom Buck Admits to Fraud, Faces 25-Year Sentence

Renegade Merrill Broker Tom Buck Admits to Fraud, Faces 25-Year Sentence

by Mason Braswell
10/31/17 | Enforcement | 17 Comments

The Thundering Herd’s former top Indiana producer also agrees to pay $5 million in civil penalties for defrauding customers by charging excessive commissions.

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Ex-Morgan Stanley Broker Suspended over Fantasy Sports Biz

Ex-Morgan Stanley Broker Suspended over Fantasy Sports Biz

by Mason Braswell
10/31/17 | Enforcement | 4 Comments

Regulator gives broker seven-month time out for failing to fully disclose his involvement in outside betting companies.

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UBS Loses U.S. Brokers and New Assets for Second Straight Quarter

UBS Loses U.S. Brokers and New Assets for Second Straight Quarter

by Mason Braswell
10/27/17 | News | 3 Comments

Customers pulled a net $2.3 billion from their Wealth Management Americas accounts, related mainly to “financial advisor attrition,” Swiss banking giant says.

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Morgan Stanley to Change Payout Calculation

EXCLUSIVE: Morgan Stanley to Change Payout Calculation

by Mason Braswell, Jed Horowitz
10/26/17 | News | 10 Comments

2018 comp plan to recalculate broker payout with a “rolling grid” that adjusts monthly based on trailing 12-month production.

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JPMorgan Bounces Back, Recruits $1.6 Bln Morgan Stanley Team in New York City

JPMorgan Bounces Back, Recruits $1.6 Bln Morgan Stanley Team in New York City

by Mason Braswell
10/26/17 | Advisor Moves | 2 Comments

Group is the second this month to join the bank’s legacy Bear Stearns business from a Morgan Stanley branch in midtown Manhattan.

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HighTower Finds a Savior

HighTower Finds a Savior

by Mason Braswell
10/25/17 | News | 5 Comments

Chicago-based rollup says Thomas H. Lee Partners will buy out certain existing institutional investors and commit $100 million of new equity capital.

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Wells Fargo Sues Fired Broker, Son and Their New RIA

UPDATE: Wells Sues Fired Broker, Son and Their New RIA

by Mason Braswell
10/24/17 | News | 1 Comment

Wells Fargo Advisors goes to court to prevent client solicitations by veteran who it alleges lost his right to protections of the Protocol for Broker Recruiting by registering his new firm without permission last summer.

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Snubbing Nose at Wirehouses, Charles Schwab Flaunts Flow of Breakaway Brokers

Snubbing Nose at Wirehouses, Schwab Flaunts Flow of Breakaway Brokers

by Mason Braswell
10/23/17 | News | 1 Comment

Competitors’ strategies of cementing retention through teaming fee-based accounts appear to be backfiring, CEO Walt Bettinger tells brokerage firm investors.

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SEC Charges NY Advisor with Stealing $9 Mln from Charity He Oversaw

SEC Charges NY Advisor with Stealing $9 Mln from Charity He Oversaw

by Mason Braswell
10/20/17 | News | 7 Comments

Fraud allegations are the second in two years against an employee of venerable family office Train, Babcock Advisors.

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Merrill Broker in Michigan Files Age Discrimination Suit

Merrill Broker in Michigan Files Age Discrimination Suit

by Mason Braswell
10/19/17 | News | 1 Comment

Broker claims he was eased out of referral program after a client of his branch manager requested his help.

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Sieg to Merrill Brokers: Your Goal Is FIve New Accounts

Sieg to Merrill Brokers: Your Goal Is Five New Accounts

by Mason Braswell
10/18/17 | News | 34 Comments

The head of the Thundering Herd continues to bang the drum for revving up new-household account productivity.

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Wells Fargo to Pay $3.4 Mln for Failing to Supervise ‘Volatility Product’ Sales

Wells to Pay $3.4 Mln for Failing to Supervise ‘Volatility Product’ Sales

by Mason Braswell
10/16/17 | News | 5 Comments

Brokers in firm’s private client and independent channels “misunderstood and improperly sold” volatility-linked exchange-traded products, regulator says.

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Wells Fargo’s Broker Count Jumps after Long Decline, Wealth Profit Rises

Wells Fargo’s Broker Count Jumps after Long Decline, Wealth Profit Rises

by Mason Braswell
10/13/17 | News

For the first time since fake-account scandal at its sister bank exploded a year ago, Wells Fargo Advisors added more brokers than it lost last quarter.

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Morgan Stanley Returns to Court as Another NJ Broker Jumps to Merrill Lynch

Morgan Stanley Returns to Court as Another NJ Broker Jumps to Merrill

by Mason Braswell
10/12/17 | Advisor Moves | 4 Comments

Five former employees at a Princeton-area branch have left in recent weeks to join former branch manager Robert Beylickjian at rival firm.

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Merrill Lynch Employees Seek Overtime Pay for Vetting Brokers’ E-Mails

Merrill Employees Seek Overtime Pay for Vetting Brokers’ E-Mails

by Mason Braswell
10/11/17 | News | 6 Comments

A New Jersey employee brings class-action lawsuit alleging that Merrill and Bank of America intentionally misclassified dozens of people to avoid paying them for extra hours spent reviewing brokers’ correspondence.

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HighTower Nabs Merrill Veteran, Another Manager Exits

HighTower Nabs Merrill Veteran, Another Manager Exits

by Jonathan Berr, Mason Braswell
10/10/17 | Advisor Moves

Pennsylvania broker joining the advisory rollup leads team in Lebanon with $230 million in assets.

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Morgan Stanley Broker’s Firing Raises Industry Eyebrows

Morgan Stanley Broker Resisted Fee Accounts, Gets Fired

by Mason Braswell
10/10/17 | News | 13 Comments

Broker’s termination for “delays in converting accounts to fee-based platforms” could be a warning sign to big firm stock pickers who drag their feet on fee-based trend, lawyers say.

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Senior Morgan Stanley Broker in Virginia Leaves Amid Branch Manager Shuffle

Senior Morgan Stanley Broker in Virginia Leaves Amid Branch Manager Shuffle

by Mason Braswell
10/9/17 | Advisor Moves | 9 Comments

A million-dollar producer in Alexandria leaves without explanation while a call-center manager is appointed to unify firm’s two offices in the city.

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JPMorgan Broker with $500 Million Signs with HighTower

JPMorgan Broker with $500 Million Signs with HighTower

by Mason Braswell
10/6/17 | Advisor Moves | 1 Comment

Florida advisor says he didn’t ask questions about rumored sale of the firm he joined.

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Morgan Stanley Sues Manager, Broker Who Left for Merrill Lynch

Morgan Stanley Sues Manager, Broker Who Left for Merrill

by Mason Braswell, Jed Horowitz
10/6/17 | News | 5 Comments

The firm filed two lawsuits on Thursday to restrain a former manager near Princeton, NJ, from soliciting brokers and a broker he allegedly recruited from soliciting inherited-account clients.

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Former UBS Private Wealth Regional Manager Joins Independent Firm

Former UBS Private Wealth Regional Manager Joins Independent Firm

by Mason Braswell, Jed Horowitz
10/5/17 | News | 1 Comment

Ray DiNunzio, a 17-year UBS veteran based in Houston, has hooked up with his former boss John Straus’s FallLine Securities.

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Sterne Agee’s Name Fossilizes, Turning into Stone

Sterne Agee’s Name Fossilizes, Turns to Stone

by Mason Braswell
10/4/17 | News | 1 Comment

The 460 independent brokers at the Alabama-based firm who were abandoned by Stifel will operate under a new flag.

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Greg Fleming Takes Reins of Expanded Rockefeller Family Office

Greg Fleming Takes Reins of Expanded Rockefeller Family Office

by Mason Braswell
10/4/17 | News | 2 Comments

Almost two years after his departure from Morgan Stanley, the former wealth management division head takes a stab at building out a much smaller wealth shop with an equally prominent name.

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Another HighTower Executive Leaves Amid Sale Rumors

Another HighTower Executive Leaves Amid Sale Rumors

by Mason Braswell
10/3/17 | News | 4 Comments

Thomas H. Brown, head of East Coast recruiting at the Chicago-based “rollup,” is the latest senior departure.

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Finra Board Approves Expanding Data Public Sees on Brokers

Finra Board Approves Expanding Data Public Sees on Brokers

by Mason Braswell
10/2/17 | News | 4 Comments

Regulator to seek comment on publishing more data in BrokerCheck and selectively easing inspection burdens for some branches and examiners.

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HighTower’s Top Former Recruiter Joins RBC Wealth in New York

HighTower’s Top Former Recruiter Joins RBC Wealth

by Mason Braswell
10/2/17 | Advisor Moves

Michael Parker is the new head of advisor recruiting at the Canadian banking unit’s newly aggressive U.S. brokerage unit.

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BREAKING: Keith Banks Out as President of U.S. Trust

Keith Banks Out as President of U.S. Trust

by Mason Braswell
9/29/17 | News | 17 Comments

Executive who had run Merrill’s sister private banking unit since 2009 moves upstairs to vice chair role and is replaced by Bank of America’s business banking head Katy Knox.

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SEC Bars Merrill Broker Imprisoned in $8.7 Million Fraud Case

SEC Bars Merrill Broker Imprisoned in $8.7 Million Fraud Case

by Mason Braswell
9/29/17 | Enforcement

Former high-producing Minnesota broker is serving 50 months for bank fraud in which he repeatedly used his Merrill account as collateral.

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Ex-Wirehouse Advisor Spilled the Beans in NCAA Bribery Case

Ex-Wirehouse Advisor Spilled the Beans in NCAA Bribery Case

by Mason Braswell
9/28/17 | News | 1 Comment

Louis Blazer, a former broker and RIA who was barred last year, was the cooperating witness in federal cases involving big-name college basketball coaches.

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Broker Can’t Escape Promissory Note Debt through Bankruptcy

Broker Can’t Escape Promissory Note Debt Through Bankruptcy

by Mason Braswell
9/28/17 | Enforcement

Los Angeles appeal panel says ex-JPMorgan broker can’t discharge $750,000 signing bonus owed to the bank.

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RBC Reflies Flag in Miami with Billion-Dollar AUM Morgan Stanley Team

RBC Reflies Flag in Miami with Billion-Dollar AUM Morgan Stanley Team

by Mason Braswell
9/26/17 | Advisor Moves

A wirehouse team in Florida joins the U.S. wealth unit of a Canadian bank while Sunshine State powerhouse Raymond James loses broker to a new Miami office of Pennsylvania regional Janney Montgomery Scott.

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Expense Report Costs Morgan Stanley Veteran Her Career

Expense Report Costs Morgan Stanley Veteran Her Career

by Mason Braswell
9/26/17 | Enforcement | 8 Comments

Registered rep who was discharged for allegedly putting a no-show on a list of event attendees refused to cooperate with regulatory follow-up.

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Morgan Stanley to Pay $13 Million for UIT Sales Violations

Morgan Stanley to Pay $13 Million for UIT Sales Violations

by Mason Braswell
9/25/17 | News | 4 Comments

Hundreds of advisors at the biggest U.S. brokerage firm prompted customers to unsuitably trade UITs, according to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

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RayJay Lands Brokers from RBC, Morgan Stanley

RayJay Lands Brokers from RBC, Morgan Stanley

by Mason Braswell
9/22/17 | Advisor Moves

Raymond James remains active in recruiting, especially as recruiters said choices are limited for brokers with wirehouses cutting back.

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Merrill Brand Takes a Hit with New BofA Credit Cards

Merrill Brand Takes a Hit with New BofA Credit Cards

by Mason Braswell
9/21/17 | News | 23 Comments

Long-time Merrill Lynch+ signature credit card is discontinued in favor of new Bank of America rewards offer.

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Regionals Pick Off Wirehouse Teams in Las Vegas, Chicago and Nashville

Regionals Pick Off Wirehouse Teams in Las Vegas, Chicago and Nashville

by Jonathan Berr, Mason Braswell
9/19/17 | Advisor Moves

RBC and Baird score advisors from Merrill and Morgan Stanley, while RayJay signs up a $1.4-million producer from a bank-owned broker in New Orleans.

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Janney Hires Ex-RayJay Manager Linked to Ski Resort Fraud Case

Janney Hires Ex-RayJay Manager Linked to Ski Resort Fraud Case

by Mason Braswell
9/18/17 | News

Frank Amigo, who left Raymond James in April, is a branch manager for Janney in Boca Raton.

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Wells Threatened with Class Lawsuit Over Leak of Client/Advisor Data

Wells Threatened with Class Lawsuit Over Leak of Client/Advisor Data

by Mason Braswell
9/15/17 | News | 4 Comments

Lawyer for ex-broker who accidentally received reams of data on Wells Advisors customers says he is exploring a class-action lawsuit.

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Former Merrill Executive Fickinger Turns Up at BNY Mellon

Former Merrill Executive Fickinger Turns Up at BNY Mellon

by Mason Braswell
9/14/17 | News | 8 Comments

The veteran who ran firm’s Northwest sales division and training over a 30-year career with the Herd, now heads San Francisco region for BNY Mellon Wealth.

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Wells Fargo Soldiers On in Northwest, Nabbing Brokers from UBS, Edward Jones and Wadell & Reed

Wells Soldiers On in Northwest, Nabbing Brokers from UBS, Jones and Waddell

by Mason Braswell
9/14/17 | Advisor Moves | 3 Comments

Brokers joining Wells Advisor’s private-client offices in Washington and Oregon include a UBS veteran said to have been producing more than $600,000.

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Merrill Lynch Official Hammers Nail into Coffins of Stock-Picking Brokers

Merrill Official Hammers Nail into Coffins of Stock-Picking Brokers

by Mason Braswell
9/13/17 | News | 7 Comments

Financial planning guidance, not investing is what the business is all about today, says the head of “goals-based” consulting at the Bank of America unit.

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All in the Merrill Family—Til Morgan Stanley Made an Offer

All in the Merrill Family—Til Morgan Stanley Made an Offer

by Mason Braswell
9/12/17 | Advisor Moves | 9 Comments

Broker who claims to have been Merrill’s biggest producer in Cleveland leaves with his daughter after 29 years for rival wirehouse, saying it has a more congenial culture.

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Morgan Stanley Virginia Complex Lures Pair of Merrill Lifers

Morgan Stanley Virginia Complex Lures Pair of Merrill Lifers

by Mason Braswell
9/11/17 | Advisor Moves | 1 Comment

Despite the intramural recruiting pullback among wirehouses, two veteran Thundering Herd brokers leading separate teams jumped to rival in late August.

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First Republic Strikes Again, Nabbing $5-Mln UBS Team in San Francisco

First Republic Strikes Again, Nabbing $5-Mln UBS Team in San Francisco

by Mason Braswell
9/8/17 | Advisor Moves | 2 Comments

Bay Area bank has been rapidly expanding its private wealth business with the help of experienced wirehouse brokers.

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RBC Picks Up UBS Vet in Chicago

RBC Picks Up UBS Vet in Chicago

by Mason Braswell
9/8/17 | Advisor Moves

The hire marks the first at RBC for complex manager Justin Ferdula, who left a Morgan Stanley branch in New York City in May.

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Old-Fashion Fraud Trips Up Corner-Cutting Sales Associate

Old-Fashion Fraud Trips Up Corner-Cutting Sales Associate

by Mason Braswell
9/8/17 | Enforcement

Finra suspends former Morgan Stanley employee who allegedly wired money based on a fraudster’s e-mailed requests.

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Recruiting Update: All Quiet on the Wirehouse Front

Recruiting Update: All Quiet on the Wirehouse Front

by Mason Braswell
9/7/17 | News

An expected rush of summer-time hires at Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley failed to materialize despite efforts to get deals in the pipeline before bonus windows were shut.

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Ex-Merrill Lynch Broker Who Zealously ‘Rode the Calendar’ Pays Again

Ex-Merrill Broker Who Zealously ‘Rode the Calendar’ Pays Again

by Mason Braswell
9/6/17 | Enforcement | 5 Comments

Broker who was discharged from Merrill in 2015 purchased IPOs without written authorization from clients, Finra said.

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Morgan Stanley Trims Recruiting Bonuses for High-end Brokers

EXCLUSIVE: Morgan Stanley Trims Recruiting Bonuses for High-end Brokers

by Mason Braswell
9/6/17 | News

Will pay a ceiling of around 250% of a recruit’s annualized revenue, well below the 330%-and-higher offer to big producers before DOL Rule restrictions.

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Wells Rivals Announce Spurt of Recruiting from Scandal-Tarred Firm

Wells Rivals Announce Spurt of Recruiting from Scandal-Tarred Firm

by Mason Braswell, Jed Horowitz
9/5/17 | Advisor Moves | 5 Comments

Six brokers managing about $750 million left Wells Fargo Advisors, according to announcements on Tuesday from rival firms and brokers.

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Finra Raps Ex-Morgan Stanley Broker for Unorthodox “Discounting”

Finra Raps Ex-Morgan Stanley Broker for Unorthodox “Discounting”

by Mason Braswell
9/1/17 | Enforcement | 11 Comments

Florida broker resolved a client’s complaint about commissions by writing a check from his own account, the regulator said.

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SEC Charges Navellier and Owner with Fraud

by Mason Braswell
8/31/17 | News | 3 Comments

Nevada-based RIA, which manages funds for customers of scores of brokerage firms, misled investors about performance of strategies it marketed and failed to disclose conflicts of interest.

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Regional Recruiting Scramble: RBC, RayJay Add Veteran Brokers

Regional Recruiting Scramble: RBC, RayJay Add Veteran Brokers

by Mason Braswell
8/30/17 | Advisor Moves

RBC adds $1.4-million team from Janney in Pittsburgh while RayJay recruits JPMorgan broker in Chicago.

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HighTower Advisor to Trump: Pardon Michael Milken

by Mason Braswell
8/30/17 | News | 1 Comment

Newport Beach financial advisor David Bahnsen said he’s not concerned about client backlash to his outspoken political views.

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Morgan Stanley, Merrill Teams Jump to Indie Firms in NY and AZ

by Mason Braswell
8/29/17 | Advisor Moves | 1 Comment

Duo with more than $300 million of client assets in Scottsdale join an LPL hybrid while Bolton attracts a New York team of international brokers managing $550 million.

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SEC Adds $20 Million Ponzi Scheme to List of Dawn Bennett Allegations

SEC Adds $20 Million Ponzi Scheme to List of Dawn Bennett Allegations

by Mason Braswell
8/28/17 | News | 4 Comments

After barring the former advisor and radio “personality” from the securities industry, the U.S. now charges her with fraud tied to a luxury sports clothing company.

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Merrill PBIG Team Splits to Open Dallas Office for RIA Founded by Ex-Colleagues

Merrill PBIG Team Splits to Open Dallas Office for RIA Founded by Ex-Colleagues

by Mason Braswell
8/28/17 | News | 3 Comments

Pair of brokers were managing $600 million of customer assets.

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‘Bada Bing’ Broker Parthemer Fined $160,000, Former Partner Barred

‘Bada Bing’ Broker Parthemer Fined $160,000, Former Partner Barred

by Mason Braswell
8/24/17 | Enforcement

The Securities and Exchange Commission penalizes barred wirehouse broker Aaron Parthemer and imposes new bar on his former partner for their $5 million fraud.

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UBS Slams Florida Broker’s Whistleblowing Claim as Implausible

UBS Slams Florida Broker’s Whistleblowing Claim as Implausible

by Mason Braswell
8/22/17 | News

A senior executive acted appropriately in firing broker for reasons unrelated to his allegations of elder abuse by a colleague, firm says in legal filing.

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Investor Sues Prudential, Morningstar over Bad-Choice Retirement ‘Robo’

Investor Sues Prudential, Morningstar over Bad-Choice Retirement ‘Robo’

by Mason Braswell
8/18/17 | Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Class-action filing by pest-control company employee says “Goalmaker” software recommends costly funds that share revenue with the plan record-keeper.

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Two UBS Wealth Managers in Los Angeles Depart, One by Mutual Agreement

Two UBS Wealth Managers in Los Angeles Depart, One by Mutual Agreement

by Mason Braswell
8/17/17 | Advisor Moves

Divisional sales director departs as part of ‘mutual separation’ and complex sales manager jumps to Raymond James.

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Feds Charge Morgan Stanley Broker as Member of Insider Trading Ring

Feds Charge Morgan Stanley Broker as Member of Insider Trading Ring

by Mason Braswell
8/17/17 | Enforcement

New Jersey advisor leveraged tips from a friend who worked at BofA to make more than $880,000, primarily for customers, prosecutors say.

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Ex-Morgan Stanley Broker Sidelined for Altering Client Info on His Way Out

Ex-Morgan Stanley Broker Sidelined for Altering Client Info on His Way Out

by Mason Braswell
8/17/17 | Enforcement | 3 Comments

Boston advisor jeopardized firm’s books-and-records obligations by altering client contact info before leaving for new firm, Finra says.

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Merrill’s Raleigh Managers Splits for Wells Fargo’s Bank Channel

Merrill’s Raleigh Manager Splits for Wells Fargo’s Bank Channel

by Mason Braswell
8/16/17 | Advisor Moves | 17 Comments

After spending his 22-year brokerage career with Merrill, former branch manager says he can get better family-office support for clients from rival firm’s in-lobby bankers.

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20-Year Edward Jones Vet Opens RayJay Office in New Mexico

20-Year Edward Jones Vet Opens RayJay Office in New Mexico

by Mason Braswell
8/15/17 | Advisor Moves | 1 Comment

Leaves crowded network of Jones offices in the area to open first RayJay employee-channel outpost in Las Cruces.

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After ‘Mutual’ Separation, Morgan Stanley Manager Alights at Merrill Lynch

After ‘Mutual’ Separation, Morgan Stanley Manager Alights at Merrill Lynch

by Mason Braswell
8/14/17 | Advisor Moves | 2 Comments

Former Princeton, NJ, branch manager who left in May is now helping to run a complex for Merrill Lynch.

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Wells Fargo Advisors Shuffles Field Leaders, Creates New Region

Wells Fargo Advisors Shuffles Field Leaders, Creates New Region

by Mason Braswell, Jed Horowitz
8/11/17 | News | 16 Comments

Reorganization is aimed to “position our field leaders closer to our advisors,” according to an internal memo.

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FBI Investigates Boston Broker Fired by Morgan Stanley

FBI Investigates Boston Broker Fired by Morgan Stanley

by Mason Braswell
8/9/17 | News | 1 Comment

Elderly client who alleges that James Polese plundered his account said agents are asking questions.

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Flexing New England Muscle, RBC Nabs $3.7-Million Morgan Stanley Team

Flexing New England Muscle, RBC Nabs $600 Mln-Asset Morgan Stanley Team

by Mason Braswell
8/8/17 | Advisor Moves

Boston brokers Paul Roche and Christopher Bayles, with two associates, resigned from the wirehouse on Tuesday to join the expanding U.S. brokerage franchise of Royal Bank of Canada.

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Another Graystone/Morgan Stanley Emigrant Goes Independent

Another Graystone/Morgan Stanley Emigrant Goes Independent

by Mason Braswell
8/8/17 | Advisor Moves | 1 Comment

Michael Holycross, a Michigan advisor abruptly fired in June, is contacting public pension plans and other clients for business out of Florida-based AndCo Consulting.

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Morgan Stanley Added Branches in Second Quarter

Morgan Stanley Added Branches in Second Quarter

by Mason Braswell
8/7/17 | News

For the first time since the start of the Smith Barney merger in 2009, the firm eked out a net branch increase.

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Phil Shaffer of Morgan Stanley Graystone Fame Opens His Own Shop

Phil Shaffer of Morgan Stanley Graystone Fame Opens His Own Shop

by Mason Braswell
8/7/17 | News

After hurried departure from his $3.8 billion-asset wirehouse team in June, a pioneer of “institutional consulting” sets up Halite Partners in Columbus, Ohio.

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Merrill to Brokers: Start Your Growth Engines

Merrill to Brokers: Start Your Growth Engines

by Mason Braswell
8/4/17 | News

Firm will reward 400 advisors—including 30 from PBIG—for beating out colleagues in growing their books in an unusual 8-month program that began this week.

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Finra Benches Former Merrill PBIG Stars over Outside Businesses

Finra Benches Former Merrill PBIG Stars over Outside Businesses

by Mason Braswell
8/3/17 | Enforcement | 3 Comments

Stephen Brown and James Goetz, now with Stifel near Rochester, NY, are hit with suspensions and combined fines of $150,000 for investments in brewery and other products without their firm’s authorization.

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Texas Advisor in Fox News Glare Says Clients Don’t Care

Texas Advisor in Trump News Glare Says Clients Don’t Care

by Mason Braswell
8/2/17 | News | 1 Comment

Ed Butowsky, a former Morgan Stanley and Bear Stearns broker who now runs an independent advisory firm, denies lawsuit allegations that he helped President Trump fabricate a Russia hacking story.

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Morgan Stanley Fires Two Boston Brokers for Alleged Theft

Morgan Stanley Fires Two Boston Brokers for Alleged Theft

by Mason Braswell
8/1/17 | News | 1 Comment

A 21-year veteran who has worked on a team led by two partners with 52 years of experience each, is accused with an associate of misappropriating client assets.

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Merrill’s Las Vegas Complex Manager Departs

Merrill’s Las Vegas Complex Manager Leaves

by Mason Braswell
7/31/17 | News | 3 Comments

Broker who returned two years ago to run the company’s ‘Sierra Nevada market’ was let go after a big trade went awry, sources said.

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Merrill Lynch to Pause Account Transfers for a Week

Merrill to Pause Account Transfers for a Week

by Mason Braswell
7/27/17 | News | 2 Comments

Due to operational change involving parent bank’s living will, Merrill will freeze processing of account-transfer requests in and out of the firm from July 28 through August 4.

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Judge Orders Ex-Wells Broker to Return Breached Customer Data

Judge Orders Ex-Wells Broker to Return Breached Customer Data

by Mason Braswell
7/26/17 | News

Sensitive client and advisor data inadvertently leaked by broker-dealer’s lawyer cannot be used or disseminated, courts in New York and New Jersey rule.

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Finra Bars Ex-Morgan Stanley Broker Who Deceived Spy Novelist

Finra Bars Ex-Morgan Stanley Broker Who Deceived Spy Novelist

by Mason Braswell
7/26/17 | Enforcement

Utah-based broker Kim Isaacson agrees to ouster from securities industry (and his current job at Ameriprise) for hyping returns in a client’s account.

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Judge Denies UBS Attempt to Handicap Ex-Broker’s New Firm

by Mason Braswell
7/25/17 | News

Connecticut advisor Phil G. Fiore and his team at Procyon Partners are free to solicit their former UBS clients, judge rules.

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SEC Endorses Record $61 Million Award to Two JPMorgan Whistleblowers

SEC Staff Endorses $61 Mln Award for Two JPMorgan Whistleblowers

by Mason Braswell
7/20/17 | News | 2 Comments

Johnny Burris, fired after he allegedly called out bank’s proprietary fund bias, believed to be beneficiary of regulator’s recommended reward.

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Wells Trainee Class-Action Settlement Spotlights Rivals’ Policies

Wells Trainee Class-Action Settlement Spotlights Rivals’ Policies

by Mason Braswell
7/19/17 | News

Many firms drop practice of pursuing trainees for “training costs” if they drop out.

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Morgan Stanley Brokers Excite CEO with $1 Billion-Quarter

Morgan Stanley Brokers Excite CEO with $1 Billion-Quarter

by Mason Braswell
7/19/17 | News | 2 Comments

Fee revenue and loan growth send wealth unit’s pretax profit margin above James Gorman’s 23-25% target range.

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UBS Lures “Top” Woman Advisor from RBC’s Hometown Office

by Mason Braswell
7/18/17 | Advisor Moves

Despite its recruiting retrenchment, UBS continues hiring selectively.

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RBC Picks Off Wells Fargo Regional Manager

by Mason Braswell
7/18/17 | Advisor Moves

After 24 years at Merrill and Wells, New York City private banker jumps to run an RBC complex in Texas.

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Wells Fargo Advisors to Pay $3.5 Million to Settle Trainee Class-Action

Wells Fargo Advisors to Pay $3.5 Million to Settle Trainee Class-Action

by Mason Braswell
7/17/17 | News | 1 Comment

Also will stop requiring reimbursement of $45,000-$55,000 from trainees who seek to remain in securities industry within five years of leaving or being fired.

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Ex-Cambridge Recruiter Says He Was Fired for Whistleblowing

Ex-Cambridge Recruiter Says He Was Fired for Whistleblowing

by Mason Braswell
7/13/17 | News | 2 Comments

Jeffrey Evanello claims the independent broker-dealer retaliated after he raised concerns about self-dealing involving a senior executive.

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Seasoned Edward Jones Broker Should Have Known Better, Finra Says

Seasoned Edward Jones Broker Should Have Known Better, Finra Says

by Mason Braswell
7/12/17 | News | 15 Comments

Regulator bars 30-year veteran in Washington State barred for failing to disclose that a client paid for her Egyptian vacation and named her daughter and grandson beneficiaries of his trust.

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Raymond James Lowers Payouts for Brokers in Employee Channel

RayJay Lowers Payouts for Brokers in Employee Channel

by Mason Braswell
7/11/17 | News | 5 Comments

Payout rates to drop by 100 to 400 basis points for most brokers.

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UBS Puts New Caps on Managed Account Fees

UBS Puts New Caps on Managed Account Fees

by Mason Braswell
7/7/17 | News | 5 Comments

Firm has imposed 2.5% maximum fee on its five wrap programs.

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HighTower Loses Billion-Dollar Asset Teams in Maryland and Ohio

by Mason Braswell, Jed Horowitz
7/5/17 | Advisor Moves | 1 Comment

Leo J. Kelly and Joel Guth, whose firms respectively managed more than $2 billion and $1 billion respectively, cut their ties with Chicago-based aggregator last week.

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Finra Freezes Executive Pay as Revenue Declines

Finra Freezes Executive Pay as Revenue Declines

by Mason Braswell
7/5/17 | News | 6 Comments

Six senior executives of the self-regulatory group took home more than $1 million in 2016, according to annual report, but salaries and promotions are frozen.

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Brokers with Clients in Nevada Are on Red Alert

Brokers with Clients in Nevada on Red Alert

by Mason Braswell, Jed Horowitz
6/30/17 | News | 2 Comments

Amended state securities law exposes firms and advisors to lawsuits if advice results in a loss and requires compensation disclosure.

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Breakaway UBS Broker Hires Big Legal Gun to Fend Off Wirehouse Lawsuit

Breakaway UBS Broker Hires Big Legal Gun to Fend Off Wirehouse Lawsuit

by Mason Braswell
6/29/17 | News

Phil Fiore, who recruited six members of his former team to his new RIA, has hired a lawyer who once headed UBS’s retail litigation unit.

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June Busts UBS Wealth Balloon as Another Multi-Million-Dollar Team Jumps

June Busts UBS Wealth Balloon as Another Multi-Million-Dollar Team Jumps

by Mason Braswell, Jonathan Berr
6/28/17 | Advisor Moves | 1 Comment

Ten-person group in Honolulu producing more than $5 million left for Raymond James, marking at least sixth UBS departure this month.

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William Blair Builds Wealth, Grabs $3 Million Boston Team from UBS

William Blair Builds Wealth, Grabs Multi-Million-Dollar Wirehouse Vets in Boston, New York

by Mason Braswell
6/26/17 | Advisor Moves

UBS team with combined 77 years of experience switches to Beantown outpost of Chicago-based firm.

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Finra Punishes Ex-Merrill Advisor Who Fed IPOs to Her Dad

Finra Punishes Ex-Merrill Advisor Who Fed IPOs to Her Dad

by Mason Braswell
6/22/17 | Enforcement | 8 Comments

Florida broker’s vicissitudes highlight sensitivity of having close relatives as clients.

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Former UBS Private Wealth Leader Straus Nabs First Client as IBD

Former UBS Private Wealth Leader Straus Nabs First Client as IBD

by Mason Braswell
6/19/17 | News

FallLine Securities, founded three years ago as a home for “private banking”-level brokers, picks up 14-year UBS veteran in Dallas.

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UBS Ruins Coming-Out Party for Fired Broker’s New RIA Firm

UBS Ruins Coming-Out Party for Fired Broker’s New RIA Firm

by Mason Braswell
6/19/17 | News | 4 Comments

Phil G. Fiore, who was discharged by UBS in November, is hit with a lawsuit aiming to prohibit him and three former members of a $6 million team in Connecticut from soliciting former clients to join his fledgling business.

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As Wirehouses Narrow Recruiting Doors, Managers Seek New Pastures

As Wirehouses Narrow Recruiting Doors, Manager Finds New Pasture

by Mason Braswell
6/16/17 | News | 2 Comments

Jeff Crystal, a longtime Morgan Stanley branch manager, is preaching the virtues of working as an independent adviser through a new unit of a company owned by the son of auto-racing mogul Roger Penske.

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Merrill Nabs Midtown Manhattan Team from Morgan Stanley

Merrill Nabs Midtown Manhattan Team from Morgan Stanley

by Mason Braswell
6/15/17 | News | 2 Comments

Wirehouses continue their rush to hire veterans from rivals before their self-imposed recruiting freezes take effect.

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Morgan Stanley and Broker Handcuffed in Elder Abuse Case

Morgan Stanley and Broker Handcuffed by Elder Abuse Finding

by Mason Braswell
6/15/17 | News | 10 Comments

Finra arbitrators award almost $400,000 to estate of woman who claimed firm shouldn’t have let her write checks from her account and liquidate securities to pay a home-improvement fraudster.

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Morgan Stanley CEO Sees Gold in Expiring Retention Bonuses

Morgan Stanley CEO Sees Gold in Expiring Retention Bonuses

by Mason Braswell
6/14/17 | News | 1 Comment

James Gorman says bank will boost pretax profit margins by some 1.5 percentage points when payments to former Smith Barney brokers expire at the end of 2018.

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After RBC Broker Resigns, Firm Settles with His Customer for $3.5 Million

After RBC Broker Resigns, Firm Settles with His Customer for $3.5 Million

by Mason Braswell
6/12/17 | News | 5 Comments

Indianapolis-based broker in branch that also housed Tom Buck allegedly churned closed-end funds for six years.

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Another Morgan Stanley Team Joins Merrill as Recruiting Window Shuts

Another Morgan Stanley Team Joins Merrill as Recruiting Window Shuts

by Mason Braswell
6/9/17 | Advisor Moves | 1 Comment

New Jersey group with four advisors and $628 million in assets moves to cross-town rival.

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After Finra Opens Probe, Ex-Merrill Broker Leaves New Post

After Finra Opens Probe, Ex-Merrill Broker Leaves New Post

by Mason Braswell
6/8/17 | News | 3 Comments

Boston-based advisor who once oversaw $1 billion of assets steps away from RIA as regulator initiates investigation of expense-account improprieties.

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Morgan Stanley Consolidates More Branches

Morgan Stanley Reorganizes in New Jersey

by Mason Braswell
6/7/17 | News | 16 Comments

Shifts in New Jersey follow national reorganization last week.

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LPL Caps Non-Traded REIT Pay Ahead of DOL Rule, Delays Off-Platform Fund Ban

LPL Caps Non-Traded REIT Pay Ahead of DOL Rule, Delays Off-Platform Fund Ban

by Mason Braswell
6/6/17 | News | 13 Comments

LPL clamps 6% lifetime maximum commission on non-traded REIT sales.

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Goldman Sachs Restricts Chicago Brokers from Calling Former Clients

Goldman Sachs Restricts Chicago Brokers from Calling Former Clients

by Mason Braswell
6/5/17 | News

Wins court order blocking duo who started an RIA from soliciting for 90 days.

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With Clock Ticking on New Hires, Merrill Lands Jumbo UBS Teams

With Clock Ticking on New Hires, Merrill Lands Jumbo UBS Teams

by Mason Braswell
6/2/17 | Advisor Moves, News | 2 Comments

A group with $3 billion in client assets joins in Chicago and a $1 billion-asset duo jumps in New York as Merrill turns off the spigot on big bonuses.

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BREAKING: Morgan Stanley Eliminates Divisions, Names New Field Boss

Morgan Stanley Eliminates Divisions, Names New Field Boss

by Mason Braswell
6/2/17 | News | 7 Comments

The firm is cutting a management layer in effort to “bring decision making even closer to the client,” according to an internal memo.

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Ex-Morgan Stanley Broker Barred for Hiding $190 Million in Venezuelan Bond Trades

Ex-Morgan Stanley Broker Barred for Hiding $190 Million in Venezuelan Bond Trades

by Mason Braswell
6/1/17 | Enforcement

The broker’s sales assistant also agreed to a fine and suspension as part of a Finra settlement.

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DOL Fiduciary Rule a “Positive” for Morgan Stanley, Says Wealth Boss

DOL Fiduciary Rule a “Positive” for Morgan Stanley, Says Wealth Boss

by Mason Braswell
5/31/17 | News | 7 Comments

Andy Saperstein, co-head of the firm’s Wealth Management unit, said the rule has sped up the move to more profitable fee-based assets.

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South Street’s Deal for Lebenthal Falls Through

by Mason Braswell
5/30/17 | News

CEO Alexandra Lebenthal says a new buyer will be announced in coming days.

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Adviser Charged with Stealing $4.5 Million from NFL Defensive End

Adviser Charged with Stealing $4.5 Million from Former Colts Defensive End

by Mason Braswell
5/26/17 | News | 3 Comments

Reports identify the player as Cory Redding, who played with the Indianapolis Colts during the course of the alleged fraud.

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Wells Fargo Lards Recruiting Deals as Rivals Turn Spartan

Wells Fargo Lards Recruiting Deals as Rivals Turn Spartan

by Mason Braswell, Jed Horowitz
5/25/17 | News | 12 Comments

Wells Fargo grabs opportunity to replenish its experienced-advisor force by offering all-in bonuses approaching three times trailing 12-month revenue.

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Morgan Stanley Merges Dallas Complexes as Cost-Saving Push Continues

Morgan Stanley Merges Dallas Complexes as Cost-Saving Push Continues

by Mason Braswell
5/25/17 | News | 4 Comments

Change leads to demotion for another legacy Smith Barney manager.

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Wells Fargo Eliminates A-Shares, C-Shares from Retirement Accounts

Wells Fargo Eliminates A-Shares, C-Shares from Retirement Accounts

by Mason Braswell
5/24/17 | News | 2 Comments

Changes are announced to firm’s 15,000 advisors in advance of the DOL fiduciary rule that will become effective on June 9.

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Whose Client Is It? Morgan Stanley Wins TRO Against Janney Jumpers

Whose Client Is It? Morgan Stanley Wins TRO Against Janney Jumpers

by Mason Braswell
5/22/17 | News | 4 Comments

Court blocks $1.8 million team from soliciting clients they allegedly inherited from a former broker at their old firm.

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LPL and Former Broker Attract Class-Action Lawsuit

LPL and Former Broker Attract Class-Action Lawsuit

by Mason Braswell
5/22/17 | News

Two LPL clients in Texas seek over $1 million in damages in court, claiming churning and overcharging for mutual funds.

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Morgan Stanley Sues Connecticut Vets on Heels of Their Jump to Janney

Morgan Stanley Sues Connecticut Vets on Heels of Their Jump to Janney

by Mason Braswell
5/18/17 | Advisor Moves | 7 Comments

Wirehouse asks court for restraining order against a producing manager and partner who allegedly contributed 40% of their former branch’s production.

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Cowboys Running Back Darren McFadden Sues Ameriprise for $15 Million

Cowboys Running Back Darren McFadden Sues Ameriprise for $15 Million

by Mason Braswell
5/16/17 | Enforcement | 11 Comments

NFL star claims that firm was negligent in failing to stop a former broker who allegedly stole $15 million.

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RBC Keeps Up Pressure on Wirehouses with Recruiting Binge

RBC Keeps Up Pressure on Wirehouses with Recruiting Binge

by Mason Braswell
5/15/17 | Advisor Moves | 2 Comments

Hires Boston team with $5.5 million of production from Morgan Stanley a week after picking off a New York City branch manager from the firm and a month after hiring a veteran Merrill broker.

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Former Edward Jones Broker Barred for ‘Borrowing’ $60K from Client

Former Edward Jones Broker Barred for ‘Borrowing’ $60K from Client

by Mason Braswell
5/12/17 | Enforcement, News | 4 Comments

Finra also suspends a second broker who failed to notify Jones that he and his wife were beneficiaries of an elderly client’s account and estate.

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Merrill, in Reversal, to Allow Limited Commision-Based Retirement Accounts

Merrill, in Reversal, to Allow Limited Commission-Based Retirement Accounts

by Mason Braswell, Jed Horowitz
5/11/17 | News | 4 Comments

Will permit customers to buy and sell certificates of deposit, hold cash in IRAs after fiduciary rule takes effect and, if rich enough, buy hedge funds and private equity investments after DOL rule becomes effective next month.

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Morgan Stanley Branch Managers Leave, Willingly and Not, in NYC Region

Morgan Stanley Branch Managers Leave, Willingly and Not, in NYC Region

by Mason Braswell
5/9/17 | Advisor Moves, News | 5 Comments

A 16-year veteran in New Jersey was “permitted to resign” earlier this month and a legacy Smith Barney manager in Manhattan jumped to RBC this week.

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Jefferies Takes Another Stab at Wealth Expansion, Hiring $7.3-Mln South American Team

Jefferies Takes Another Stab at Wealth Expansion, Hiring $7.3-Mln South American Team

by Mason Braswell
5/8/17 | News

Reaches into Wells Fargo for nine-person group that oversaw about $1.5 billion for Argentine, Brazilian and Uruguayan families.

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NYC Investment Adviser Fined for Faking Her CFP Credential

NYC Investment Adviser Fined for Faking Her CFP Credential

by Mason Braswell
5/8/17 | News | 10 Comments

Founder of Source Financial Advisors, a specialist in helping divorced women, also falsely filed documents about her college education, regulator says.

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Despite two wins and a draw in the past two weeks, brokers sued by their former employers ended up paying bills.

Even When Brokers Win Non-solicitation Battles, They Can Feel Like Losers

by Mason Braswell
5/4/17 | News | 5 Comments

Despite two wins and a draw in the past two weeks, brokers sued by their former employers ended up paying bills.

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EXCLUSIVE: Morgan Stanley Purges Vanguard Mutual Funds

by Mason Braswell
5/3/17 | News | 9 Comments

In a game of chicken, big brokerage firms are prohibiting sale of products from the world’s fastest-growing fund company because it will not pay for shelf space.

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Morgan Stanley Scores Brokers in New York, Loses Them in Utah

Morgan Stanley Scores Brokers in New York, Loses Them in Utah

by Mason Braswell, Jed Horowitz
5/2/17 | Advisor Moves

A Long Island duo with 73 years jointly at Merrill Lynch jumps to rival, while Morgan Stanley’s biggest team by advisory assets in Utah goes independent.

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UBS Wealth Americas Flaunts Benefits of Recruiting Pullback

UBS Wealth Americas Flaunts Benefits of Recruiting Pullback

by Mason Braswell
4/28/17 | News | 4 Comments

Recruiting loans to financial advisors dropped below $3 billion as the firm focuses on retention rather than new hires.

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Raymond James Hires UBS’s Kim Jenson for Senior Branch System Role

Raymond James Hires UBS’s Kim Jenson for Senior Branch System Role

by Mason Braswell
4/26/17 | Advisor Moves

UBS’s longtime Chicago complex manager will be chief operating officer of Raymond James & Associates.

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Ex-Merrill Lynch Broker to Reimburse Firm $1.1 Million in Theft Plea

Ex-Merrill Broker to Reimburse Firm $1.1 Million in Theft Plea

by Mason Braswell
4/26/17 | Enforcement

Chicago adviser faces 20 years in prison.

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Goldman Sachs Wealth Rainmaker Frank Ghali Resigns, Forms RIA

Goldman Sachs Wealth Rainmaker Frank Ghali Resigns, Forms RIA

by Mason Braswell, Jed Horowitz
4/25/17 | News | 5 Comments

San Francisco-based managing director and most of his 18-person team are setting up a multi-family office for clients with at least $50 million apiece.

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RayJay to Name Wirehouse Vet Bert White to Run Expanded Florida Complex

RayJay to Name Wirehouse Vet Bert White to Run Expanded Florida Complex

by Mason Braswell
4/24/17 | News

Ex-Morgan Stanley/Smith Barney manager will be tapped to revive far-reaching branch group, some of which are leaderless after anti-money-laundering settlement.

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Morgan Stanley’s Friday Bingo: Merrill and Wells Brokers Join in Greater NYC

Morgan Stanley’s Friday Bingo: Merrill and Wells Brokers Join in Greater NYC

by Mason Braswell
4/21/17 | Advisor Moves | 1 Comment

$1.7-million advisor in New York City and $700K advisor in New Jersey move their solo practices.

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Morgan Stanley Taps New Boss at New York City Branch

Morgan Stanley Taps New Boss at New York City Branch

by Mason Braswell
4/20/17 | News | 3 Comments

Dwayne Barberis takes over a midtown Manhattan office after abrupt departure of his predecessor.

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Expunging Customer Complaints Becomes More Complicated

Expunging Complaints Becomes More of a Crapshoot

by Mason Braswell
4/20/17 | News

Arbitrator allows a UBS broker to clear his name, citing “factually impossible” complaint, but it’s not always so simple.

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Focus Financial Gets Another Recap from More Private Equity Firms

Focus Financial Gets Another Recap from More Private Equity Firms

by Mason Braswell
4/19/17 | News | 1 Comment

KKR and Stone Point Capital buy majority stake in the advisory firm rollup, valuing Focus at some $2 billion.

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Edward Jones Sweetens the Pot for Experienced Brokers

Ed Jones Sweetens the Pot for Experienced Brokers

by Mason Braswell
4/18/17 | News | 18 Comments

Offers asset-based bonuses and guaranteed compensation match to execute culturally revolutionary new strategy, but skeptics abound.

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After Strange Dismissal, Morgan Stanley Star Alights at Merrill Lynch

After Strange Dismissal, Morgan Stanley Star Alights at Merrill Lynch

by Mason Braswell
4/17/17 | News | 3 Comments

Head of San Francisco team who had been with her former firm since 2001 was dismissed for “misuse of telephone caller identification information.”

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Raymond James Paying $150 Million to Settle Ski Resort Fraud Case

Raymond James to Pay $150 Million to Settle Ski Resort Fraud Case

by Mason Braswell, Jed Horowitz
4/13/17 | News | 5 Comments

Settlement with SEC receiver ends five lawsuits hanging over the brokerage firm related to claims that it abetted massive fraud against foreign investors.

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Wells Fargo Advisor Headcount Down 3% in Aftermath of Bank Scandal

Wells Fargo Advisor Headcount Down 3% in Aftermath of Bank Scandal

by Mason Braswell
4/13/17 | News | 3 Comments

Firm has lost a net 429 retail brokers in the last two quarters while money in Wells proprietary funds is off 12% from a year ago.

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Sign of the Times: Merrill Follows Ed Jones on Recruiting

Sign of the Times: Merrill Follows Ed Jones on Recruiting

by Mason Braswell
4/11/17 | News | 3 Comments

Merrill focuses on career changers while Edward Jones launches campaign to hire veteran brokers.

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Did You Hear the One About the Merrill Broker Who Became a Lead Generator?

Did You Hear the One About the Merrill Broker Who Became a Lead Generator?

by Mason Braswell
4/10/17 | Enforcement, News

Finra suspends one former Merrill FA in Arizona who tried hawking clients’ names to another broker and a former associate in Georgia who took client-signature shortcuts.

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HighTower Could Grow AUM 20% with WealthTrust Deal

HighTower Could Grow AUM 20% with WealthTrust Deal

by Mason Braswell
4/7/17 | News

Chicago-based “roll-up” expects to add $6.5 billion from ten firms.

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Fired Billion-Dollar Merrill Broker Resurfaces at Boston Firm

Fired Billion-Dollar Merrill Broker Resurfaces at Boston Firm

by Mason Braswell
4/6/17 | News

Sandy Galuppo, terminated in October for alleged expense account improprieties, has registered with WFS LLC.

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Merrill Seeks Denial of Complex Manager’s Homophobia Suit

Merrill Seeks Denial of Complex Manager’s Homophobia Suit

by Mason Braswell
4/6/17 | News | 2 Comments

Firm asks Los Angeles judge to deny discrimination claim filed by David Hunt, who was with the firm for 23 years.

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HighTower’s Top Recruiter Shifts Role

HighTower’s Top Recruiter Shifts Role

by Mason Braswell
4/5/17 | News | 2 Comments

Michael Parker, chief development officer of Chicago-based advisory rollup, to become consultant, according to multiple sources.

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SunTrust Recruits Pair of Brokers from RayJay’s Alex. Brown

by Mason Braswell
4/5/17 | Advisor Moves

Todd Ryman and Will Rhodes in Atlanta were managing around $200 million of client assets.

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Schwab Sues RIA Client in Non-Solicitation Spat

Schwab Sues its Own RIA Client in Non-Solicitation Spat

by Mason Braswell
4/4/17 | News | 6 Comments

Schwab accused the advisory firm of trying to steal clients when it hired a former broker from Schwab’s branch network.

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Another Merrill Lynch Lifer Leaves Venerable “SD” Branch in New York City

Another Merrill Lifer Leaves Venerable “SD” Branch in New York City

by Mason Braswell
4/3/17 | Advisor Moves

Andrew LeBlanc leaves financial district flagship for a “family office,” bringing count of emigrants from the financial district branch since December to at least 11 advisors.

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Ed Jones Bares Teeth Chasing Texan Who Jumped Ship

Ed Jones Bares Teeth Chasing Texan Who Jumped Ship

by Mason Braswell
3/31/17 | News | 10 Comments

Seeks $1 million and from broker who took client contact information to a rival firm.

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Morgan Stanley Revs Up Proprietary CD Sales on Eve of Fed Rate Meeting

Morgan Stanley Midtown Manhattan Manager Turetzky Departs Abruptly

by Mason Braswell, Jed Horowitz
3/30/17 | News

After 17 years, veteran leaves without explanation.

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Merrill Lynch Escalates Recruiting Battle with Morgan Stanley

Merrill Escalates Recruiting Battle with Morgan Stanley

by Mason Braswell
3/30/17 | Advisor Moves

Amid a steady exodus in recent months, Merrill picks off Los Angeles veteran from rival.

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Merrill’s Sieg Centralizes, Cutting Sales Regions to Six from Ten

by Mason Braswell
3/29/17 | News | 11 Comments

Citing need to create the “feel of a smaller, more tightly integrated firm,” new boss integrates divisions and creates new “community markets” group to service some 150 smaller offices.

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Testing the Protocol, Merrill Lynch Sues Team Members Who Left with Client Data

Testing the Protocol, Merrill Sues Team Members Who Left with Client Data

by Mason Braswell
3/29/17 | News | 1 Comment

A “relationship manager” and an analyst who left a large team in Miami are not protected by the Protocol for Broker Recruiting, brokerage firm says.

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Finra Mulls Best-Interest Standard for Brokers: CEO

Finra Mulls Best-Interest Standard for Brokers: CEO

by Mason Braswell, Jed Horowitz
3/28/17 | News

The self-regulator could step in if the SEC fails to mandate a stronger customer-care rule for brokers, Robert W. Cook said.

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UBS Wealth Americas Shifts Management Roles

UBS Wealth Americas Shifts Management Roles

by Mason Braswell, Jed Horowitz
3/27/17 | News

Product maven Paul Hatch swaps post with Northeast sales division head Jason Chandler.

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Merrill Bleeds More Brokers at HQ Office, to Morgan Stanley’s Benefit

by Mason Braswell, Jed Horowitz
3/27/17 | Advisor Moves | 5 Comments

Departure comes as firm unveils new national “bullish” ad campaign.

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UBS Hires $1.2 Million Merrill Producer in Rochester

UBS Hires $1.2 Million Merrill Producer in Rochester

by Mason Braswell
3/24/17 | Advisor Moves | 1 Comment

Broker was attracted by fewer marketing restrictions and less channel conflict at the rival wirehouse, a source said.

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Dawn Bennett Ordered to Pay Investor $1 Million over Gold Recommendation

Dawn Bennett Ordered to Pay Investor $1 Million over Gold Recommendation

by Mason Braswell
3/23/17 | News | 2 Comments

Arbitrators hold the embattled investment advisor and affiliated broker-dealer liable for unsuitable ETF investment and failure to supervise.

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Raymond James Sidelines Florida Manager Tied to Major Fraud Case

by Mason Braswell
3/22/17 | News

Frank Amigo, manager of firm’s South Florida complex, allegedly helped a broker arrange margin loans for client accused of $200 million Ponzi scheme.

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Merrill Lynch Broker with Int’l Biz Starts RIA in Manhattan

High-End Merrill Broker in Manhattan Sets Up Independent Advisory Firm

by Mason Braswell
3/21/17 | News

After 13 years, Xerxes Mullan leaves Private Banking and Investment Group with five associates to build a family office for entrepreneurs.

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UBS Wealth Americas Slashed New Broker Hires by 54% in 2016

UBS Wealth Americas Slashed New Broker Hires by 54% in 2016

by Mason Braswell
3/20/17 | News

Overall advisor ranks fell 2% as new president Naratil executes plan to cut expensive recruiting wars.

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SEC Cracks Down on Wrap Account Abuses

SEC Cracks Down on Wrap Account Abuses

by Mason Braswell
3/17/17 | News

Regulatory actions focus on undisclosed commission charges in fee-based programs.

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Fired by Wells, Veteran Broker Three Years Later Is Suspended by Finra

Fired by Wells, Veteran Broker Three Years Later Is Suspended by Finra

by Mason Braswell
3/16/17 | News

Former broker who kited checks and lost battle to keep $900K hiring bonus gets three-month time-out from industry regulator.

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Andy Sieg, Merrill’s New Leader, Riles Executive Ranks

Andy Sieg, Merrill’s New Leader, Riles Executive Ranks

by Mason Braswell, Jed Horowitz
3/15/17 | News

Riley Etheridge, who ran client sales, product and advisor training areas under former head John Thiel, retires, along with Sieg’s older brother.

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Forget About 60 Days, Firms Push for Six-Month Delay in DOL Rule

Forget About 60 Days, Firms Push for Six-Month Delay in DOL Rule

by Mason Braswell
3/15/17 | News | 2 Comments

Raymond James CEO, UBS’s head of managed accounts and others in the industry argue for at least six more months to prepare for rule’s implementation.

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Honored Ameriprise Manager Abruptly Joins LPL Firm

Honored Ameriprise Manager Abruptly Joins LPL Firm

by Mason Braswell
3/13/17 | Advisor Moves

Less than a year after being named a top ten branch manager by a national magazine, a Florida broker goes to work for a local RIA and registers as Uber driver.

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Charles Schwab, Echoing Wirehouses, Pursues Broker Who Jumped to Competition

Schwab, Echoing Wirehouses, Pursues Broker Who Jumped to Competition

by Mason Braswell, Jed Horowitz
3/13/17 | News | 3 Comments

The discount brokerage giant says Wisconsin man took list of “HNW” clients with him to Fidelity Investments.

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Fired Septuagenarian Merrill Broker Files Discrimination Suit

Fired Septuagenarian Merrill Broker Files Discrimination Suit

by Mason Braswell
3/10/17 | News | 6 Comments

Lifelong 49-year employee in California claims his dismissal last year for “selling away” was “ruse” to get his accounts after he refused to retire.

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SEC Fines Voya Financial $3.1 Million for Failing to Disclose Payments

SEC Fines Voya Financial $3.1 Million for Failing to Disclose Payments

by Mason Braswell
3/9/17 | Enforcement

Registered investment advisor, formerly known as ING Financial Partners, was paid by clearing firm to promote its no-transaction-fee fund platform.

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Brokerage Industry Rallies Employees to Push for DOL Rule Delay

Brokerage Industry Rallies Employees to Push for DOL Rule Delay

by Mason Braswell
3/8/17 | News | 1 Comment

In an effort to mobilize the “grassroots,” LPL Financial sends its 14,100 affiliated brokers a trade group-coordinated way to instantly send comments.

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Fast-Growing Advisory Firm Steward Partners Suffers Partner Clash

Fast-Growing Advisory Firm Steward Partners Suffers Partner Clash

by Mason Braswell
3/7/17 | News | 1 Comment

Executive chairman Michael Maurer leaves three-year-old, nine-office hybrid RIA cofounded with former Smith Barney partner.

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Merrill Early Mover Gaffe? DOL Policy Prompts 11 NY-Area Departures

Merrill Early Mover Gaffe? DOL Policy Prompts 11 NY-Area Departures

by Mason Braswell
3/6/17 | Advisor Moves | 4 Comments

Six went Friday to Morgan Stanley, which has flaunted a less restrictive retirement account policy for brokers than has Merrill.

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Former Wirehouse Broker Pleads Guilty to Investment Advisor Fraud

Former Wirehouse Broker Pleads Guilty to Investment Advisor Fraud

by Mason Braswell
3/3/17 | Enforcement | 2 Comments

Faces up to five years in prison for stealing more than $1.5 million from clients through trust raids and management fees well above his promised range of 1-1.5%.

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Merrill Nabs Morgan Stanley Michigan Star with $8-Mln Production

Merrill Nabs Morgan Stanley Michigan Star with $8-Mln Production

by Mason Braswell
3/3/17 | Advisor Moves, News | 12 Comments

Keith Rowling, 35, was top producer at Morgan Stanley complex in Birmingham.

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Morgan Stanley, UBS Chip Away at Multi-Billion Recruiting Loan Balances

Morgan Stanley, UBS Chip Away at Multi-Billion Recruiting Loan Balances

by Mason Braswell
3/2/17 | News | 6 Comments

Balances on recruiting and retention loans to financial advisors dropped around 4% to 5% last year at both firms, according to filings.

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Another Pair of Merrill Lynch ‘Lifers’ in NYC Leave Over Retirement Account Changes

Another Pair of Merrill ‘Lifers’ in NYC Leave Over Retirement Account Changes

by Mason Braswell
3/1/17 | Advisor Moves | 5 Comments

Two solo practitioners with 40 years of Merrill experience between them hop from flagship Manhattan branch to Morgan Stanley.

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Morgan Stanley Flubbed Cost-Basis Tax Reports to Customers, Reserves $70M

Morgan Stanley Flubbed Cost-Basis Tax Reports to Customers, Reserves $70M

by Mason Braswell
2/28/17 | News | 1 Comment

Amount will cover both over- and underpayments clients made to the IRS because of incorrect data sent to a “significant number” of clients.

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$2.4 Million Broker Jumps to RayJay after 24 Years at Wells Fargo

$2.4 Million Broker Jumps to RayJay after 24 Years with Wells Fargo

by Mason Braswell
2/27/17 | Advisor Moves | 2 Comments

South Carolina’s Preston Covington, former Interstate Johnson Lane branch manager, says Florida firm’s culture ‘just felt right.’

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Jones Broker Who Bet on Ponies Ripped Off Elderly Client, Finra Says

Jones Broker Who Bet on Ponies Ripped Off Elderly Client—Finra

by Mason Braswell
2/24/17 | Enforcement

Accuses Oklahoma advisor of filling out a blank check for $22,000 from a customer with dementia, picking up another $22,000 in cash from him.

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Merrill Lowers the Ceiling on Advisory Fees

Merrill Lowers the Ceiling on Advisory Fees

by Mason Braswell
2/24/17 | News | 1 Comment

Maximum on sub-$1 million accounts falls to 2.2% from 2.7%.

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Top Morgan Stanley Broker in Nevada Breaks Away after Almost 30 Years

Top Morgan Stanley Broker in Nevada Breaks Away after Almost 30 Years

by Mason Braswell
2/17/17 | Advisor Moves | 3 Comments

“Presidents Club” broker who joined Morgan Stanley in 1988 left on Friday to start his own firm.

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DOL Labor Nominee Acosta Is ‘Blank Slate’ on Fiduciary Rule

Labor Nominee Acosta Is ‘Blank Slate’ on Fiduciary Rule

by Mason Braswell
2/17/17 | News

Supporters of conflict-of-interest rule are pessimistic about his ability to delay a rollback even if he wanted to.

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One of Merrill’s Top Field Officers Takes a Leave

One of Merrill’s Top Field Officers Takes a Leave

by Mason Braswell
2/14/17 | News

Jim Dickson, head of the wealth management giant’s Indiana-based Greater Midwest division, is on an indefinite leave of absence.

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First Republic Picks Off Hollywood Star, This Time from UBS

First Republic Picks Off Hollywood Star, This Time from UBS

by Mason Braswell
2/13/17 | Advisor Moves

After marauding through Merrill, San Francisco bank hires UBS Private Wealth broker in southern California who reportedly produces $3.8 million.

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Merrill Client Sued for $14.6 TRILLION, Arbitrators Scoff

Merrill Client Sued for $14.6 TRILLION, Arbitrators Scoff

by Mason Braswell
2/9/17 | Enforcement | 6 Comments

Customer in Cleveland complained about deceptive and deficient account information but provided no details, arbitrators rule.

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Mike Tyson’s Former Advisor Pleads Guilty to Stealing $1 Million

Mike Tyson’s Former Advisor Pleads Guilty to Stealing $1 Million

by Mason Braswell
2/7/17 | Enforcement

Ex-advisor also ripped off NBA stars Dikembe Mutombo and Glen Rice, court papers show.

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DOL Firm by Firm: LPL to Keep Ban on “Direct” Fund Investing

DOL Firm by Firm: LPL to Keep Ban on “Direct” Fund Investing

by Mason Braswell
2/6/17 | News | 7 Comments

Citing the need to “know our investors,” the independent brokerage giant sticks with plan to end brokers’ ability to buy mutual fund shares directly even if fiduciary rule changes.

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AWOL Wirehouse Broker from New Jersey Arrested in Nevada

AWOL Wirehouse Broker from New Jersey Arrested in Nevada

by Mason Braswell
2/6/17 | Enforcement

Barry Connell, a 16-year veteran of Morgan Stanley and UBS who has been on the lam since last summer, is charged by the U.S. Attorney and SEC with stealing $5 million from clients.

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Ameriprise, Sticking with 12b-1 Fee Ban, Loses Some Brokers

Ameriprise, Sticking with 12b-1 Fee Ban, Loses Some Brokers

by Mason Braswell
2/2/17 | News

Firm may retract some planned sales restriction if DOL fiduciary rule is delayed or discarded, but is sticking by plan to curtail mutual fund shares that pay ongoing trails.

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Advice to Advisors: Read Your U5s Carefully

Advice to Advisors: Read Your U5s Carefully

by Mason Braswell
1/30/17 | News | 3 Comments

Ex-Morgan Stanley advisor spent just $3,500 to defend her good name, and paid no lawyer fees.

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UBS Terminates Longtime Virginia Broker for Trading Abuses

UBS Terminates Longtime Virginia Broker for Trading Abuses

by Mason Braswell
1/27/17 | News

After 39 years at UBS Wealth and predecessor firms, a $2-million producer leaves after allegations of unsuitable client trading.

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DOL Fiduciary Rule Helps UBS Rein In Recruiting Costs

DOL Fiduciary Rule Helps UBS Rein In Recruiting Costs

by Mason Braswell
1/27/17 | News | 1 Comment

Swiss banking giant says its U.S. brokerage unit’s costs are falling as it backs away from hiring wars.

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Broker Who Illegally Bailed Out a Client Gets Second Chance

Broker Who Illegally Bailed Out a Client Gets Second Chance

by Mason Braswell
1/25/17 | News | 1 Comment

New employer says Florida broker who left Morgan Stanley and was suspended by Finra had good intentions.

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Morgan Stanley Boots Acclaimed New York City Broker

Morgan Stanley Boots $6-Million New York City Producer

by Mason Braswell
1/24/17 | News

Firm cites “concerns” about discretionary trading and investment strategy of Michael Paesano and two other members of his five-person team.

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Greg Fleming, Ex-Morgan Stanley Wealth Boss, Joins Small B/D

Greg Fleming, Ex-Morgan Stanley Wealth Boss, Joins Small B/D

by Mason Braswell
1/20/17 | News

A month after his nonsolicitation agreement expired, the former Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch executive joins Axiom Capital Management in New York City.

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LPL Poster Child Ron Carson Seals Move to Rival Indie Broker

LPL Poster Child Ron Carson Seals Move to Rival Indie Broker

by Mason Braswell
1/19/17 | Advisor Moves | 7 Comments

After two months of rumors that he was ending his 27-year relationship with LPL, the big producer jumps to a rival independent firm.

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Morgan Stanley Eases Out Complex Manager in Florida

Morgan Stanley Eases Out Complex Manager in Florida

by Mason Braswell
1/19/17 | News | 8 Comments

Bert White, a longtime field general with a Smith Barney lineage, lost his post in regional restructuring.

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Former Merrill “International” Brokers Drop Class-Action Claim

Former Merrill “International” Brokers Drop Class-Action Claim

by Mason Braswell
1/18/17 | News

Lawyer says he will pursue “numerous” individual claims in arbitration instead.

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Robert Baird to Pay Wells Fargo $25 Million over “Wichita Raid”

Robert Baird to Pay Wells Fargo $25 Million over “Wichita Raid”

by Mason Braswell
1/17/17 | News | 1 Comment

Arbitration panel upholds claim that regional firm’s hiring of six brokers in a new market violated regulator’s rules of conduct.

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SEC Fines Morgan Stanley $13 Million for Billing, Compliance Errors

SEC Fines Morgan Stanley $13 Million for Billing, Compliance Errors

by Mason Braswell
1/13/17 | News | 4 Comments

Firm overcharged clients $16 million over 14 years due to “inadvertent” errors, regulator said.

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Wells Fargo Lost Over 200 Brokers in Fourth Quarter

Wells Fargo Lost Over 200 Brokers in Fourth Quarter

by Mason Braswell
1/13/17 | News | 8 Comments

Recruiters and managers at the firm say hiring dropped off as banking scandal unfolded.

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Citi Pays $23.5 Million Tied to Overcharges on Smith Barney Fund Programs

Citi Pays $23.5 Million Tied to Overcharges on Smith Barney Fund Programs

by Mason Braswell
1/12/17 | News

Reimbursement of $22.5 million will go to 47,000 customers legacy Smith Barney managed accounts.

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Fired JP Morgan Whistleblower Wins Wrongful Dismissal Claim

Fired JP Morgan Whistleblower Wins Wrongful Dismissal Claim

by Mason Braswell
1/11/17 | News | 3 Comments

Federal agency rules that JP Morgan owes Arizona-based advisor Johnny Burris back-pay, punitive damages and expungement of his regulatory record.

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Morgan Stanley Reorganizes Wealth Management Sales Structure

Morgan Stanley Reorganizes Wealth Management Sales Structure—Memo

by Mason Braswell
1/11/17 | News | 6 Comments

Brokerage firm to eliminate New England and Northwest regions, shifting San Francisco-based Michael Struckman and bidding farewell to Rick Ryan in Boston.

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SEC Bars John Rafal, Former Top Barron’s Connecticut Broker

SEC Bars John Rafal, Former Top Barron’s Connecticut Broker

by Mason Braswell
1/10/17 | News | 2 Comments

Veteran advisor settles referral fee case but faces federal criminal charge of obstructing investigation.

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Robertson Stephens Loses Its Boston Team

Robertson Stephens Loses Its Boston Team

by Mason Braswell
1/9/17 | News

Joe Piazza’s attempt to resurrect famed San Francisco advisory firm appears to stumble with departure of former wirehouse broker’s decision to form his own RIA.

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Morgan Stanley Wealth International Boss Walks Out

Morgan Stanley Wealth International Boss Walks Out

by Mason Braswell
1/6/17 | News

Firm confirms that James Jesse resigned on Thursday.

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Raymond James and Former Employee Settle ‘Animal House’ Complaint

Raymond James and Former Employee Settle ‘Animal House’ Complaint

by Mason Braswell
1/5/17 | News

Woman who advised brokers on succession planning has resolved her sexual harassment claim.

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UBS Fights Back Against Landmark $18.5 Million Puerto Rico Award

UBS Fights Back Against Landmark $18.5 Million Puerto Rico Award

by Mason Braswell
1/4/17 | News

Firm asks court to vacate Finra arbitration decision because of two arbitrators’ failure to fully disclose their litigation history.

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Wells Fargo Advisors to Pay $35.5 Million to Settle Race Discrimination Suit

Wells Fargo Advisors to Pay $35.5 Million to Settle Race Discrimination Suit

by Mason Braswell
1/3/17 | News | 11 Comments

Also agrees to recruit more African American brokers, establish an expense-account pool for them and seek more minority candidates for management positions.

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Stifel Raises Core Monthly Pay Hurdle by 20%

Stifel Raises Monthly Pay Hurdle by 20%

by Mason Braswell
12/23/16 | News | 1 Comment

Brokers must generate $2,000 more of fees and revenue each month before payout climbs from 25% to 50%.

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Magnifying Glass

$273 Expense Claim Topples Morgan Stanley Broker

by Mason Braswell
12/22/16 | News | 12 Comments

Two-decade veteran in Idaho is latest in spate of terminations related to reimbursement requests by brokers eager to exploit a tax-related benefit.

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Regulator Fines Maryland Advisory Firm $800,000 for Fraud Tied to CEO Suicide

Regulator Fines Maryland Advisory Firm $800,000 for Fraud Tied to CEO Suicide

by Mason Braswell
12/21/16 | News | 1 Comment

Convergent Wealth Management found liable by Commodities Futures Trading Commission for former executive’s outside fund operation.

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Dawn Bennett Loses Another Battle in Crusade to Circumvent SEC

Dawn Bennett Loses Another Battle in Crusade to Circumvent SEC

by Mason Braswell
12/19/16 | News | 1 Comment

Federal appeals court turns down embattled radio show host’s challenge to the agency’s administrative law process.

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Wells Fires Southern California Complex Manager and Broker

Wells Fires Southern California Broker and His Complex Manager

by Mason Braswell
12/16/16 | News | 5 Comments

Newport Beach advisor couldn’t defend aggressive trading patterns when questioned by regulators, sources said.

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Merrill Lynch Trims Brokers’ Ability to Waive Customers’ Administrative Fees

Merrill Trims Brokers’ Ability to Waive Customer Fees

by Mason Braswell, Jed Horowitz
12/13/16 | News | 2 Comments

So-called account processing fee waivers tied to broker production levels disappear from 2017 compensation plan.

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Big-Bank Grinches Steal Christmas (Again)

Big-Bank Grinches Steal Christmas (Again)

by Mason Braswell, Jed Horowitz
12/13/16 | News | 4 Comments

Wells Fargo tells brokers to pick up the postage on holiday cards, Merrill and Morgan Stanley nix party budgets.

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Expense Reports Fell Another Wirehouse Broker

Expense Reports Fell Another Wirehouse Broker

by Mason Braswell
12/12/16 | News | 3 Comments

Morgan Stanley pressured Charles A. May, reputedly the highest producer in his Georgia branch, to leave, sources said.

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Firms “Weaponize” U5 Termination Filings

Firms “Weaponize” U5 Termination Filings

by Mason Braswell
12/9/16 | News | 4 Comments

Inaccurate or incomplete disclosures taint brokers during transition, attorneys say.

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Businesspeople laughing

LPL Star Broker Ron Carson Declares Fealty to the Firm

by Mason Braswell
12/7/16 | News | 1 Comment

Nebraska-based independent broker denies reports he will take practice to Cetera after more than 25 years with LPL.

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Merrill Lynch’s New Pay Plan Raises Bank-Referral Requirements

EXCLUSIVE: Merrill’s New Pay Plan Raises Bank-Referral Requirements

by Mason Braswell
12/6/16 | News | 11 Comments

Compensation plan leaves payout grid from 2016 unchanged but doubles down on Bank of America referral quota.

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Morgan Stanley Team Jumps to Wells Fargo FiNet

Morgan Stanley Team Jumps to Wells Fargo FiNet

by Mason Braswell
12/6/16 | Advisor Moves

Bethesda, Md.-based brokers generated $2.3 million in production.

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LPL Financial chief executive Mark Casady

LPL Chairman and CEO Mark Casady to Take Early Retirement

by Mason Braswell, Jed Horowitz
12/5/16 | News | 4 Comments

President Dan Arnold to replace him in January as the independent brokerage embarks on the ground-shaking transition to DOL fiduciary rule compliance.

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Ex-Morgan Stanley Broker Barred Over NFL Ticket Scam

Ex-Morgan Stanley Broker Barred Over NFL Ticket Scam

by Mason Braswell
11/30/16 | Enforcement

Finra charges 25-year industry vet with seeking more than $5,000 of reimbursement on tickets that he sold to third parties.

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stack-papers-international-772x485

Merrill “International” Brokers Bulk Up Class-Action Claim

by Mason Braswell
11/28/16 | News

Amended class-action lawsuit claims that top Bank of America executives misled them about plans to serve global retail clients.

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boston-sandy-galuppo-772x459

Merrill Boots $1.4-Billion Boston Broker over Expense Account Filing

by Mason Braswell
11/22/16 | Enforcement

Firm “lost confidence” in 21-year veteran who allegedly sought repayment of personal expenses.

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gavel and money

Finra Orders Oppenheimer to Pay $3.4 Million in Fines and Restitution

by Mason Braswell
11/17/16 | News

In latest of series of sanctions, regulator cites multiple reporting, arbitration and sales violations.

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Ami Forte’s Branch Manager Leaves Morgan Stanley

Ami Forte’s Branch Manager Leaves Morgan Stanley

by Mason Braswell
11/17/16 | Enforcement, News | 1 Comment

Eight months after $34 million arbitration decision, trading scandal still ripples through southern Florida office.

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Wells Fargo Hooks Up with UBS Partner SigFig for “Robo” Product

Wells Fargo Hooks Up with UBS Partner SigFig for “Robo” Product

by Mason Braswell
11/15/16 | News

Automated investing platform will be offered directly to consumers, with little input from brokers.

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Merrill Lynch Reduces Retirement Account Sticker Shock

Merrill Reduces Retirement Account Sticker Shock

by Mason Braswell
11/15/16 | News | 12 Comments

Clients won’t pay more in an advisory account than they were paying in their commission accounts, and brokers won’t be penalized for discounting fees.

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SEC to Robo Advisors: We’re Watching You - Mary Jo White

SEC to Robo Advisors: We’re Watching You

by Mason Braswell
11/14/16 | News

Agency chief Mary Jo White said the regulator is focusing on whether automated advice-givers are properly disclosing their operating models and ensuring customer suitability.

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Brokerage Stocks Extend Post-Trump Run

Brokerage Stocks Extend Post-Trump Run

by Mason Braswell
11/10/16 | News

Expected cutbacks in regulation and interest-rate hikes spur drive optimism about financial services sector.

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Barred Radio Host-Advisor Dawn Bennett Faces New Fraud Allegations

Barred Radio Host-Advisor Dawn Bennett Faces New Fraud Allegations

by Mason Braswell
11/10/16 | News | 3 Comments

Embattled former broker may have embezzled funds raised from investors in her online sportswear company, Finra says.

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When It Comes to Brute Force, Raymond James Overtakes UBS

When It Comes to Brute Force, Raymond James Overtakes UBS

by Mason Braswell
11/8/16 | News

The regional broker bypassed the New York-based wirehouse in number of advisors last quarter, but lags significantly when it comes to productivity.

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Raymond James Nabs Merrill Lynch Veteran in New York City Suburb

RayJay Nabs Merrill Veteran in New York City Suburb

by Mason Braswell
11/8/16 | Advisor Moves, News

Team managing about $300 million in Connecticut to open new office in Mount Kisco.

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Morgan Stanley Resumes Recruiting Offers, Slimmer and DOL-Compliant

Morgan Stanley Resumes Recruiting Offers—Slimmer and DOL-Compliant

by Mason Braswell
11/3/16 | News | 1 Comment

Rivals ready their resets, with Merrill said to be including some deferred bonuses.

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Oppenheimer Says It Purges Problem Producers

Oppenheimer Says It Purges Problem Producers

by Mason Braswell
11/2/16 | News | 2 Comments

Headcount dips 7% as company kicks out brokers with potential compliance issues.

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Merrill Lynch’s private bank and investment group scores Michigan duo while Stifel completes lift of half of a Wisconsin independent firm’s practice.

Merrill, Stifel Flog Midwestern Hires

by Mason Braswell
10/31/16 | Advisor Moves, News | 1 Comment

Merrill’s private bank and investment group scores Michigan duo while Stifel completes lift of one-third of a Wisconsin independent firm’s advisors.

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Money Cut

DOL Prohibits Deferred Recruiting Bonuses Under New Rule

by Mason Braswell
10/27/16 | News | 10 Comments

Firms will have to restructure how they pay recruits on retirement accounts, according to new guidance on the impending conflict-of-interest rule.

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Raymond James Okays Commission-Based Retirement Accounts

Raymond James Okays Commission-based Retirement Accounts

by Mason Braswell
10/27/16 | News

Florida-based firm’s wealth unit pre-tax income jumped 21%, and headcount increased by 550 brokers from last year.

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Finra Launches Sweep of Cross-Selling Practices at Broker-Dealers

Finra Launches Sweep of Cross-Selling Practices at Broker-Dealers

by Mason Braswell
10/26/16 | News | 13 Comments

Securities regulator puts cross-selling in its cross-hairs, asking broker-dealers for data on their promotions of parent company and affiliates’ bank products in the wake of Wells Fargo scandal.

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Ex-JPMorgan Broker Wins Defamation Claim

Ex-JPMorgan Broker Wins Defamation Claim

by Mason Braswell
10/21/16 | Enforcement

Arbitrator awards New Jersey broker $442,000 in wrongful termination claim in latest reversal for the banking giant.

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LPL to Limit Upfront Commissions on Variable Annuities

LPL to Limit Upfront Commissions on Variable Annuities

by Mason Braswell
10/20/16 | News | 10 Comments

Move will “ensure alignment with anticipated DOL requirements relating to standardized and reasonable compensation,” firm told brokers on Thursday.

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LPL to Brokers: Castigate Media for Acquisition Talk

by Mason Braswell
10/17/16 | News

In a letter brokers can send clients, the firm tells brokers to play dumb about the rumor and promote its strengths.

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Wells Fargo Tries Distancing Wealth Division from Scandal

Wells Tries Distancing Wealth Division from Scandal

by Mason Braswell
10/14/16 | News

Growth in brokerage and fee assets remained strong in third quarter but bank backed away from disclosing cross-sell ratios.

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‘Debt Whisperer’ Quits Morgan Stanley to Launch Securities-backed Loan Firm

‘Debt Whisperer’ Quits Morgan Stanley to Launch Securities-backed Loan Firm

by Mason Braswell
10/13/16 | News

Tom Anderson gave up a practice that was generating $3 million in revenue to focus advisors on the virtues of client borrowing.

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Merrill Continues to Bleed Int’l Teams as Big Group Jumps to Morgan Stanley

Merrill Continues to Bleed Int’l Teams as Big Group Jumps to Morgan Stanley

by Mason Braswell
10/12/16 | Advisor Moves

Attrition likely to continue as team with $600 million in assets jumps in Houston.

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Janney Scores Biggest Recruiting Triumph in Three Years

by Mason Braswell
10/10/16 | Advisor Moves | 2 Comments

Pennsylvania regional firm says it hired Merrill Lynch team with $800 million of client assets in Connecticut.

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Morgan Stanley Tightens Pay Policy on Inherited Accounts

Morgan Stanley Tightens Pay Policy on Inherited Accounts

by Mason Braswell
10/7/16 | News | 14 Comments

Brokers must retain 50% of household account assets after first three months to receive full payout.

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SEC Fines Credit Suisse $90 Million for Misleading Investors About Its Wealth Business

SEC Fines Credit Suisse $90 Million for Misleading Investors About Its Wealth Business

by Mason Braswell
10/5/16 | Enforcement, News

The Swiss bank overstated new assets booked at its former U.S. brokerage and other wealth management units, regulator says.

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BofA Plans to Roll out Robo-Advisor in First Quarter of 2017

BofA Plans to Roll out Robo-Advisor in Q1 2017

by Mason Braswell
10/4/16 | News | 1 Comment

“Merrill Edge Guided Investing” will open to referrals from Merrill Lynch advisors later in 2017.

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Massachusetts Slams Morgan Stanley over Alleged Sales Contest

by Mason Braswell
10/3/16 | Enforcement, News | 3 Comments

State’s top securities cop calls 2014 program “unethical and dishonest” and cites a culture of “cross-selling.”

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UBS

UPDATED: UBS Fined $15 Million for Failing to Educate Brokers on Complex Product Sales

by Mason Braswell
9/28/16 | Enforcement, News

Brokers who sold about $10.7 billion of single-stock linked convertible to 44,000 retail customers were trained primarily on sales payouts rather than product risk, SEC says.

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Barry Sommers

JPMorgan Reorganizes Wealth Business

by Mason Braswell
9/27/16 | News | 1 Comment

Barry Sommers, a legacy Bear Stearns executive, named to oversee the bank’s three wealth channels.

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Little Rock

Little Rock RIA to Absorb Concert Wealth in Aftermath of SEC Fine

by Mason Braswell

Sowell Management Services to pick up 120 advisors with $1.5 billion in AUM.

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Wells Fargo

Unfazed by Scandal, Bicoastal Team Jumps to Wells Fargo from Morgan Stanley

by Mason Braswell
9/26/16 | Advisor Moves | 1 Comment

Merrill Lynch also nabbed a $1.8-million Morgan Stanley producer in Florida.

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Fired by UBS, Big L.A. Producer Joins RIA Run by Merrill Emigrants

Dismissed by UBS, Big L.A. Producer Joins RIA Run by Merrill Emigrants

by Mason Braswell
9/22/16 | Advisor Moves, News

Los Angeles-based advisor David James resettles at Focus Financial’s LLBH Private Wealth Management.

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HighTower Sues Former Executive Ed Friedman for Return of Severance

EXCLUSIVE: HighTower Sues Former Executive Ed Friedman for Disparagement

by Mason Braswell
9/22/16 | Enforcement, News

Seeks return of $230,000 in severance, alleging the recruiter maligned firm to advisors, current and former employees and competitors in violation of exit agreement.

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Facebook Post Trips Up JPMorgan Private Bankers Who Jumped to Wells

Facebook Post Trips Up JPMorgan Private Bankers Who Jumped to Wells

by Mason Braswell
9/20/16 | Enforcement, News | 6 Comments

Social media posts—even on private accounts—can violate non-solicit agreements, attorneys warn.

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Finra Goes After JPMorgan Whistleblower

Finra Files Enforcement Action Against JPMorgan Securities Whistleblower

by Mason Braswell
9/19/16 | Enforcement, News | 5 Comments

Former broker Johnny Burris says regulatory complaint was unduly influenced by his former employer.

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Merrill Lynch Gives 75-year-old Broker Walking Papers After 49 Years at Firm

Merrill Lynch Gives 75-year-old Broker Walking Papers After 49 Years at Firm

by Mason Braswell
9/14/16 | News | 12 Comments

Broker in Santa Fe says he loves the business, but firm said he was selling away.

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SEC to Examine RIAs Who Hire Brokers with Checkered Pasts

SEC to Examine RIAs Hiring Advisers with Checkered Pasts

by Mason Braswell
9/12/16 | Enforcement, News | 1 Comment

A new “sweep” will scrutinize tone at the top and financial arrangements, the regulators said on Monday.

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$2.2 Billion-Asset Morgan Stanley Team Opts for Independence

$2.2 Billion-Asset Morgan Stanley Team Opts for Independence

by Mason Braswell
9/12/16 | Advisor Moves | 1 Comment

Eight-advisor Kirk-Bahm group in Wichita starts registered investment advisory firm.

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RayJay Seals Deutsche Bank Acquisition, with 90% Retention

RayJay Seals Deutsche Bank Acquisition, with 90% Retention

by Mason Braswell
9/6/16 | News

Brokers in the newly minted Alex. Brown division will have access to Deutsche Bank for seven years.

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UBS’s Robo Push? It’s Really for the Masses

Ex-Broker Sues UBS for Having to Pay for Client Associates, Other Expenses

by Mason Braswell
9/2/16 | Enforcement | 7 Comments

Claim seeks class-action certification for current and former advisors in California.

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Wells Loses Another “Profit Formula” Team to Raymond James

Another Wells “Profit Formula” Team Leaves, Raising Questions About Unit

by Mason Braswell
9/1/16 | Advisor Moves | 1 Comment

Veteran Wisconsin team with $1.7 million of production jumps to to Raymond James.

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After Leaving HighTower, PagnatoKarp Recruits Its Own Team

After Leaving HighTower, PagnatoKarp Recruits Its Own Team

by Mason Braswell
8/30/16 | Advisor Moves

Breakaway RIAs recruit $100 million-asset-under-management team from Convergent Wealth Advisors.

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Morgan Stanley Sues Broker Refusing to Repay $2 Million

Morgan Stanley Sues Broker Refusing to Repay $2 Million

by Mason Braswell
8/26/16 | Enforcement | 1 Comment

Firm tries to recoup promissory note balances arbitrator ordered a New Jersey man to pay.

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SEC Whacks 13 Firms for Spreading F-Squared’s Performance Gospel

SEC Whacks 13 Firms for Spreading F-Squared’s Performance Gospel

by Mason Braswell
8/25/16 | Enforcement | 3 Comments

Blaming distributors for sins of a manufacturer, regulator finds RIAs negligent for marketing outside manager’s fictitious ETF returns.

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Ex-Merrill Client Associates File $5 Million Overtime Suit

Former Client Associates File Overtime Pay Suit Against Merrill

by Mason Braswell
8/25/16 | Enforcement | 12 Comments

Class-action claim seeks more than $5 million for CAs who worked at the firm since 2013.

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Dynasty Lands Former Morgan Stanley Consulting Group Exec

by Mason Braswell
8/24/16 | Advisor Moves

Former southwest regional manager at Morgan Stanley’s advisory unit to help oversee Dynasty’s investment platform.

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Asante Samuel

Pro-Bowler Samuel Presses $7.8 Million Claim Against Morgan Stanley, Wells

by Mason Braswell
8/23/16 | Enforcement

Former NFL linebacker and a Mega-Millions lottery winner seek almost $8 million for failing to supervise their broker.

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Young RayJay Employee Cites “Animal House” Office Environment in Harassment Claim

Young RayJay Employee Cites “Animal House” Office Environment in Harassment Claim

by Mason Braswell
8/18/16 | Enforcement | 20 Comments

Succession-planning specialist cites retaliation for reporting “alcohol-fueled work environment.”

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Star Mississippi Recruit’s Fall from Grace Costs Morgan Stanley $4.7 Million

Heavily Recruited Mississippi Broker Costs Morgan Stanley $4.7 Million

by Mason Braswell
8/17/16 | Enforcement

Branch manager with 31 years in industry loses state license and agrees to retire.

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Advisor on $7.5 Billion Morgan Stanley Team Joins RIA

Advisor on $7.5 Billion Morgan Stanley Team Joins RIA

by Mason Braswell
8/15/16 | Advisor Moves | 1 Comment

Michael Birgeneau had been with the 25-person group in Ohio for 17 years before leaping to Silvercrest.

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Alexandra Lebenthal Makes it Official, Will Close RIA in September

Alexandra Lebenthal Makes it Official, Will Close RIA in September

by Mason Braswell
8/12/16 | News | 2 Comments

Recruiting and transitioning assets proved insurmountable, she says.

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Jefferies Grabs JPMorgan Advisor as His $2.4 Billion Partnership Dissolves

Jefferies Grabs JPMorgan Advisor as His $2.4 Billion Partnership Dissolves

by Mason Braswell
8/11/16 | Advisor Moves

Legacy Bear Stearns advisor James Odorczuk left long-time partnership that had been together since 2003.

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Fired HighTower Team Regroups as Independent RIA

Fired HighTower Team Regroups as Independent RIA

by Mason Braswell

Brian Amidei’s Palm Desert, California, group resurfaces as Fortem Financial.

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Finra Teaches Ex-Merrill Broker a Lesson on the High Cost of College

by Mason Braswell
8/8/16 | Enforcement | 17 Comments

Regulator fines veteran L.A. broker $10,000 for lying about his education, suspends him for 18 months.

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Boomerang Trend Alive and Well at Merrill Lynch

Boomerang Trend Alive and Well at Merrill Lynch

by Mason Braswell
8/4/16 | Advisor Moves | 1 Comment

Broker with $110 million in assets returns after seven years at Morgan Stanley.

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Advisor Productivity Fell Across the Board in Second Quarter

Advisor Productivity Falling Across the Board

by Mason Braswell
8/4/16 | News

Revenue per broker across the five biggest firms off 3% in the second quarter.

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Lead-Generation Firm Gets Rave Reviews from Fake Brokers

Lead-Generation Firm Gets Rave Reviews from Fake Brokers

by Mason Braswell
8/1/16 | News | 2 Comments

AdvisorStream, which sells a subscription service to brokers at LPL, Ameriprise, Envestnet and other firms, posted false testimonials to promote its service.

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UBS Group CEO Says U.S. Recruiting Deals Hurt Clients, Advisors and Shareholders

UBS Group CEO Says Recruiting Deals Hurt Clients, Advisors and Shareholders

by Mason Braswell
7/29/16 | News | 2 Comments

Comments come as the US wealth unit tries to whittle away $3.2 billion of hiring bonus balances.

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Ameriprise to Kill A-Shares and 12-b1 Fees, CEO Says

Ameriprise to Kill A-Shares and 12-b1 Fees, CEO Says

by Mason Braswell
7/27/16 | News

Like LPL, firm and its brokers are looking for ways to make up for advisory account revenue that will be lost to new DOL fiduciary rule.

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Pair of Deutsche Bank Brokers Jump to Wells Fargo on Eve of RayJay Deal

Pair of Deutsche Bank Brokers Jump to Wells Fargo on Eve of RayJay Deal

by Mason Braswell
7/25/16 | Advisor Moves

Departure comes as Raymond James reports higher-than-expected costs for absorbing Deutsche’s U.S. brokerage unit.

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SEC Fines California Advisory Firm Concert Wealth for Lying About AUM

SEC Fines California Advisory Firm Concert Wealth for Overstating AUM, Profits

by Mason Braswell
7/22/16 | Enforcement

RIA “rollup” and its owner Felipe Luna overstated assets by as much as $1 billion in fund-raising appeal to investors, regulator says.

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HighTower Fires High-Profile “Top Broker” Team in California

EXCLUSIVE: HighTower Fires High-Profile “Top Broker” Team in California

by Mason Braswell
7/15/16 | News | 15 Comments

Advisor Brian Amidei denies allegations of stealing credit for sister team’s accounts, hints at retaliation over his threats to leave.

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LPL to Banish A-Shares, 12b-1 Fees on All Advisory Accounts

LPL to Banish A-Shares, 12b-1 Fees on All Advisory Accounts

by Mason Braswell
7/13/16 | News | 18 Comments

Brokerage giant’s path-breaking move anticipates conflict-of-interest rules from regulators.

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Dawn Bennett to SEC: The Fight Ain’t Over

Dawn Bennett to SEC: The Fight Ain’t Over

by Mason Braswell
7/12/16 | News | 1 Comment

Expelled advisor who flaunted her “top-list” status will appeal lifetime bar and multi-million-dollar fine.

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SEC Judge Fines Radio-Show Advisor Dawn Bennett $4.1 Mln

SEC Judge Fines Radio-Show Advisor Dawn Bennett $4.1 Mln

by Mason Braswell
7/11/16 | Enforcement | 5 Comments

Publicity-hungry advisor overstated client assets by more than $1.5 billion.

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Massachusetts Probes Morgan Stanley Securities-Backed Loan Push

Massachusetts Probes Morgan Stanley Securities-Backed Loan Push

by Mason Braswell
7/11/16 | News | 1 Comment

The Bay State’s top securities cop is looking into a pilot program that offered brokers’ expense account incentives for selling loans collateralized by clients’ portfolios.

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Ex-UBS Broker Sues Firm and Former Teammates for Defaming Him

Ex-UBS Broker Sues Firm and Former Teammates for Defaming Him

by Mason Braswell
7/8/16 | Enforcement | 6 Comments

Breakaway advisor says his former clients were told they could “end up in a Bernie Madoff situation.”

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Ten-Year-Old RIA in Beverly Hills Casts Lot with HighTower

Ten-Year-Old RIA in Beverly Hills Casts Lot with HighTower

by Mason Braswell
7/7/16 | News

Acacia Wealth Advisors, which has about $500 million of nondiscretionary client assets, becomes a partner of Chicago-based firm.

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Departure of Lebenthal Executives Raises Survival Questions

EXCLUSIVE: Departure of Lebenthal Executives Raises Survival Questions

by Mason Braswell
7/5/16 | News

Recent exits of president Andy Grillo and other top managers highlight challenges of building “independent” firms.

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Finra Posts $39.5 Million 2015 Loss While Executives Cash Million-Dollar Paychecks

Finra Posts $39.5 Million 2015 Loss While Executives Cash Million-Dollar Paychecks

by Mason Braswell
6/30/16 | News | 6 Comments

Skyrocketing tech and ad expenses, lower fine collections, hit the regulator’s bottom line.

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JPMorgan Called Out for “Double Standard” in Broker Recruiting

JPMorgan Accused of Double Standard in Broker Recruiting

by Mason Braswell
6/30/16 | News

Bloomberg story points to increasingly blurry lines around who is actually protected by the Protocol for Broker Recruiting.

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SEC Proposes Succession Planning Rule for Independent Advisors

SEC Proposes Succession Planning Rule for Independent Advisors

by Mason Braswell
6/28/16 | News

New rule would require investment advisors to adopt business continuity and transition plans.

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HighTower Recruits $300 Million Securities America Broker

by Mason Braswell
6/28/16 | Advisor Moves, News

Firm continues to recruit after pushing back IPO.

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Arbitration Filings Up 20% This Year Amid Market Volatility

Arbitration Filings Up 20% This Year Amid Market Volatility

by Mason Braswell
6/24/16 | News

Almost 1,500 new cases have been filed with Finra through the end of May, with customer complaints up 29%.

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Thigh-High Thursday? Ex-Wells Fargo Broker Sues for Sexual Harassment

Thigh-High Thursday? Ex-Wells Fargo Broker Sues for Sexual Harassment

by Mason Braswell
6/23/16 | Enforcement, News | 6 Comments

Industry veteran in Pennsylvania cites sleazy comments from managers, alleges fraud at three branches where she worked.

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HighTower’s Loss of $2.4 Billion Megateam Casts Big Shadow

ANALYSIS: HighTower’s Loss of $2.4 Billion Megateam Casts Long Shadow

by Mason Braswell
6/22/16 | Advisor Moves, News

Paul Pagnato and David Karp forfeited millions of dollars of equity in split with firm that they say is beholden to its private-equity backers.

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Former UBS Chicago Executive Sues to Kill $75K Arb Award Against Him

by Mason Braswell
6/22/16 | Enforcement, News | 3 Comments

Robert Graham, who ran Midwest region, filed age discrimination claim but ended up with order to repay his big hiring bonus.

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Brokers Sue Finra, Credit Suisse over Arbitration Shopping

Ousted CEO of Sterne Agee Fined $25,000 for Failing to Report Lavish Spending Spree

by Mason Braswell
6/21/16 | Enforcement, News | 4 Comments

Finra also suspends James S. Holbrook, who bought yachts, condos and country clubs with corporate cards, for 15 months.

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Alabama Ponzi Artist Gets 10 Years in $2.5 Million Scheme

Massachusetts Advisor Sentenced to Nine Years for $15 Million Fraud

by Mason Braswell
6/20/16 | Enforcement, News

Daniel Thibeault pled guilty to stealing funds raised from investors and lying to SEC investigators.

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Spy Novelist Who Claimed Deception by Morgan Stanley Wins $3.6 Million

by Mason Braswell
6/20/16 | News | 2 Comments

H. Keith Melton, author and consultant to U.S. intelligence agencies, was duped by his broker to the tune of some $2.6 million, Finra panel finds.

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Morgan Stanley Complex Manager Attacks Recruiting Bonuses…When Convenient

by Mason Braswell
6/16/16 | News | 8 Comments

“Moving to another firm may be in the advisor’s best interest, but may not be in yours,” a complex manager warns customers.

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Regulator to Scrub JP Morgan’s “Defamatory” Filing on $2.2 Bln Team that Jumped

by Mason Braswell
6/16/16 | Enforcement, News

Arbitrators rule bank defamed brokers by claiming they stole client data.

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ANNALS OF DISMAY: Broker Assures Clients He’ll Avoid Annuities, Puts Them in Annuities Anyway, Finra Says

by Mason Braswell
6/14/16 | Enforcement, News | 3 Comments

Independent broker Dion Padilla of Next Securities allegedly earned $42,000 in commissions as he lied to clients.

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Finra Accuses Veteran Compliance Chief of False Disclosures

Finra Accuses Veteran Compliance Chief of False Disclosures

by Mason Braswell
6/14/16 | Enforcement, News | 2 Comments

Alleges that former Oppenheimer Chief Compliance Officer Allen Holeman falsified U-4 forms.

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In Twist, UBS Lobs a Bone to Small-Account Brokers

In Twist, UBS Lobs a Bone to Small-Account Brokers

by Mason Braswell
6/13/16 | News | 3 Comments

Newly unveiled compensation policy offers revenue credits on sub-$100,000 accounts.

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Finra Names Ex-SEC Official Robert Cook as New CEO

Finra Names Ex-SEC Official Robert Cook as New CEO

by Mason Braswell
6/13/16 | News | 1 Comment

The Cleary, Gottlieb lawyer has strong market-structure expertise.

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UBS Rushes Out 2017 Comp Plan with 50% Payout Potential

UBS Rushes Out 2017 Comp Plan with 50% Payout Potential

by Mason Braswell
6/10/16 | News | 5 Comments

“We are…putting a stake in the ground that relentless and costly advisor recruiting is not sustainable as a growth strategy in this industry,” President Tom Naratil said.

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Regulator Slams Oppenheimer Again, Cites Risky ETF Sales to Elderly Clients

Regulator Slams Oppenheimer Again, Cites Risky ETF Sales to Elderly Clients

by Mason Braswell
6/8/16 | News

Finra imposes $2.9 million in fines and restitution.

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Dynasty Hires UBS Complex Manager to Rev Up West Coast Recruiting

Dynasty Hires UBS Complex Manager to Rev Up West Coast Recruiting

by Mason Braswell
6/7/16 | Advisor Moves, News | 1 Comment

David Wiener, former director of UBS Wealth America’s Silicon Valley complex, had spent his 24-year career at wirehouses.

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Mystery of Missing MS Complex Manager in Steamy Southeast Resolves

Mystery of Missing MS Complex Manager in Steamy Southeast Resolves

by Mason Braswell
5/27/16 | News | 4 Comments

Morgan Stanley fired an upwardly mobile manager for “interactions with colleagues.”

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Same Door, Different Floor: Lifetime Morgan Stanley Broker Leaves for UBS

Same Door, Different Floor: Lifetime Morgan Stanley Broker Leaves for UBS

by Mason Braswell
5/26/16 | Advisor Moves, News

For the second time in two weeks, a multi-million dollar producer at Morgan Stanley’s Paramus, New Jersey, branch has jumped to UBS Wealth Management in the same city.

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Morgan Stanley to Pay $800k to NFL, NBA Stars Thanks to ‘Bada Bing’ Broker

Morgan Stanley to Pay $800k to NFL, NBA Stars Thanks to ‘Bada Bing’ Broker

by Mason Braswell
5/25/16 | Enforcement, News | 2 Comments

The firm failed to supervise broker who ran a Miami nightclub where he solicited celebrities and prospects and investors in outside businesses.

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JPM Advisor Defamation

JPMorgan’s Private Bank Rocked by Layoffs

by Mason Braswell
5/24/16 | News | 7 Comments

The river of pink slips handed out Monday expected to surge to a torrent.

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Tech Maven Winterberg Sues Colleague for T3 Conference Money

UPDATED: Tech Maven Winterberg Sues Colleague for T3 Conference Money

by Mason Braswell
5/23/16 | Enforcement, News | 7 Comments

A Major rift appears to have erupted between two well-known financial advisor tech consultants.

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Fired Merrill Stars Face Regulatory Action Over Whiskey Investment

Fired Merrill Stars Face Regulatory Action Over Whiskey Investment

by Mason Braswell
5/19/16 | Enforcement, News | 3 Comments

Ex-PBIG brokers Brown and Goetz, recuperating at Stifel, seek $2 million of deferred comp in arbitration from Merrill while Finra pounces.

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Cetera to Shutter Another Broker Amid Broad Revamp

Cetera to Shutter Another Broker Amid Broad Revamp

by Mason Braswell
5/18/16 | News | 1 Comment

VSR Financial Services will be closed as firm shrinks its franchise.

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Gavel and Money

Finra Fines Raymond James $17 Mln, Cites “Dirty Money” Failures

by Mason Braswell
5/18/16 | Enforcement, News | 2 Comments

Raymond James Financial, one of the brokerage industry’s most aggressive recruiters in the past year, was hit with a $17…

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It’s a Date: Finra’s Bonus Disclosure-Lite to Take Effect in November

It’s a Date: Finra’s Bonus Disclosure-Lite to Take Effect in November

by Mason Braswell
5/16/16 | News | 3 Comments

The new disclosure rule requiring brokers who jump firms to let customers know the direct and indirect consequences of moving their accounts is now set in stone.

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From Morgan to Morgan: $3 Billion L.A. Team Takes a Leap

UBS Wins $1 Mln-Plus from Broker Who Jumped to Wells

by Mason Braswell
5/16/16 | Enforcement, News

UBS has prevailed in collecting more than $1 million from a multi-million dollar producer in Chicago who left in February 2012 for Wells Fargo Advisors.

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Morgan Stanley Lifer and His $3 Mln Team Hop to UBS

Morgan Stanley Lifer and His $3 Mln Team Hop to UBS

by Mason Braswell
5/13/16 | Advisor Moves, News

Karl Kreshpane took his more than $2.5-million practice to rival UBS Thursday evening, in a move unusual for both its timing and the decision to move after 22 years at Morgan Stanley.

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Another Morgan Stanley Manager Folds in Steamy Southeast

Another Morgan Stanley Manager Abruptly Leaves in Southeast

by Mason Braswell
5/12/16 | Advisor Moves, News | 3 Comments

A Morgan Stanley complex manager in Alabama abruptly stepped down this week without explanation.

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HighTower Delays IPO Plans, Works on Revenue Projects

HighTower Delays IPO Plans, Works on Revenue Projects

by Mason Braswell
5/11/16 | News | 1 Comment

HighTower Advisors is going to miss its deadline.

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Finra to Tighten Sales Contest Rules But Raise Client-Gift Limit

Finra to Tighten Sales Contest Rules But Raise Client-Gift Limit

by Mason Braswell
5/9/16 | News | 3 Comments

Finra plans to tighten rules governing non-cash incentives that broker-dealers use to juice product sales and to raise the value of incidental gifts advisors can give clients or receive from them.

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Merrill Shifts New England Market Managers After Vet Bolts to UBS

What’s Up at Morgan Stanley Boston? Veteran Team Leaves for Beantown Newcomer

by Mason Braswell
5/6/16 | Advisor Moves, News | 1 Comment

A week after a team with $1.2 billion of client assets jumped to Merrill Lynch from Morgan Stanley’s High Street Tower branch in Boston, another team managing $350 million in assets at the same branch has flown the coop.

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Bello, Dynasty’s Top Rainmaker, Decamps for Investment Firm Aggregator

Bello, Dynasty’s Top Rainmaker, Decamps for Investment Firm Aggregator

by Mason Braswell
5/5/16 | Advisor Moves, News

Tim Bello has left the five-year-old advisory firm incubator started by former Smith Barney executives, to join a fledgling asset management group formed by former Goldman Sachs partners.

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UBS’s U.S. Wealth Operations to Escape Cost-Cutting Ax

UBS’s U.S. Wealth Operations to Escape Cost-Cutting Ax — Spokesman

by Mason Braswell
5/3/16 | News

UBS announced a global cost-cutting plan on Tuesday aimed at saving $2.2 billion by the end of 2017 and offsetting revenue declines, but the streamlining will not directly affect jobs in U.S.

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Another Boomerang: $1.2 Billion Morgan Stanley Team Returns to Mother Merrill

by Mason Braswell
5/2/16 | Advisor Moves, News | 5 Comments

Andrew Zimmerman, who has led a Morgan Stanley team in Boston, has returned to the Merrill Lynch branch in the city where he spent the first 18 years of his career.

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On Craigslist: Hook Ups, Second-Hand Furniture and, Now, Broker-Dealers

On Craigslist: Hook Ups, Second-Hand Furniture and, Now, Broker-Dealers

by Mason Braswell
4/27/16 | News

Psst, wanna buy a broker-dealer? James Gilbert has one to sell you for just $30,000, and you can read all about on it Craigslist.

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Former Morgan Stanley Broker ‘Escapes’ Payment of $34M Arbitration Award

Former Morgan Stanley Broker ‘Escapes’ Payment of $34M Arbitration Award

by Mason Braswell
4/26/16 | Enforcement, News | 1 Comment

Ami Forte is not paying a penny of the $34 million award that arbitrators assessed against her and Morgan Stanley last month for making unsuitable and unauthorized trades in a client’s account.

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Ami Forte’s Trader at Morgan Stanley Resurfaces at Small Broker-Dealer

Ami Forte’s Trader at Morgan Stanley Resurfaces at Small Broker-Dealer

by Mason Braswell
4/26/16 | Advisor Moves, News

One month after he was fired by Morgan Stanley for his involvement in the Ami Forte scandal that cost the company $34 million, Charles J. Lawrence is starting over.

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Morgan Stanley Grabs AUM Crown from Merrill Lynch

Morgan Stanley Grabs AUM Crown from Merrill Lynch

by Mason Braswell
4/19/16 | News

Morgan Stanley on Monday reported that client assets in its wealth management division hit $1.999 trillion as of March 31.

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Morgan Stanley earnings

Morgan Stanley Ekes Out Wealth Profit Despite Big Dip in FA Asset-Gathering

by Mason Braswell
4/18/16 | News

The wealth unit provided 50% of total revenue for the Wall Street giant, but its vital signs were weak.

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Ex-Merrill Sales Boss Prevails in Arbitration, Wins Withheld Shares

by Mason Braswell
4/15/16 | Enforcement, News

Robert Bowman has been awarded 21,660 shares of Bank of America stock by an arbitration panel.

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Wells Fargo Advisors' Mary Mack Shifts to New Role

Wells Fargo Execs Call Credit Suisse Recruiting a “Success”

by Mason Braswell
4/14/16 | News

Wells Fargo’s hiring of about one-third of Credit Suisse’s U.S. brokers was just what it aimed for, bank executives said Thursday.

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Morgan Stanley Rejiggers Sales Support Structure

Morgan Stanley Tries Again, Rejiggers Sales Support Structure

by Mason Braswell
4/12/16 | News

Morgan Stanley is eliminating the position of “complex business development manager” created to help drive revenue within its 608 branches.

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Morgan Stanley Brokers, Judge Rules in class case

Morgan Stanley Brokers Aren’t Hucksters, Judge Rules in Class Case

by Mason Braswell
4/12/16 | Enforcement, News

A federal judge has ruled that Morgan Stanley brokers are more than just salespeople, which means they are not entitled to bring a class-action lawsuit seeking overtime pay.

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Merrill Lynch is cutting ties to PHH

Merrill Pulls Back from Mortgage Partner PHH

by Mason Braswell
4/11/16 | News

Merrill Lynch is cutting ties to its longtime residential mortgage loan partner, PHH, which had at times been a source of annoyance for some brokers.

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Broker Wins Defamation Claim

Broker Who Was Fired for Job-Hunting Wins Defamation Claim

by Mason Braswell
4/8/16 | Enforcement, News

A broker fired from defunct brokerage firm John Thomas Financial has succeeded in getting that part of his history hidden from public view.

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Ex Morgan Stanley Broker Ordered to Pay Firm $2 Million

No-Show Ex-Morgan Stanley Broker Ordered to Pay Firm $2 Million

by Mason Braswell
4/6/16 | Enforcement, News

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority on Tuesday took Morgan Stanley’s side and ordered Lance Slater to repay the firm $2 million.

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Man with Umbrella

After Suing Merrill, $400 Million Int’l Broker Starts RIA

by Mason Braswell
4/5/16 | Advisor Moves, News

Miguel Sosa, who resigned from Merrill Lynch in January, has established Premia Global Advisors as a registered investment advisor in Coral Gables, Fla.

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SEC Says Paul-Ellis Investment Associates Owes Investors

SEC Says Pennsylvania Firm Owes Investors $4 Mln Dinner Bill

by Mason Braswell
4/4/16 | Enforcement, News

The SEC has filed charges against a registered investment advisory firm and four individuals for fraudulently raising almost $4 million solicited from more than a dozen clients who were pitched at “free dinner” investment seminars.

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Merrill Lynch Hit With Class-Action Complaint from International Brokers

Merrill Lynch Hit With Class-Action Complaint from Int’l Brokers

by Mason Braswell
4/1/16 | Enforcement, News

Frustrations over Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s decision last summer to restructure its unit of roughly 300 U.S.-based advisors serving international clients have reached a crescendo.

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Morgan Stanley's Tracy Chen Barred

Morgan Stanley ‘Expense Queen’ Barred But Her Legacy Survives

by Mason Braswell
4/1/16 | Enforcement, News

Tracy Chen was fired by Morgan Stanley in May 2013 and was “permitted to resign” by Oppenheimer & Co. this February as her bar by Finra became effective.

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Another Merrill Vet in Long Island Leapfrogs to Morgan Stanley

by Mason Braswell
3/22/16 | Advisor Moves, News

A long-time Merrill Lynch broker in Garden City, Long Island, walked across the street to Morgan Stanley.

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Morgan Stanley, Ami Forte Ordered to Pay $34 Million in Speer Case

by Mason Braswell
3/21/16 | Enforcement, News

Morgan Stanley, financial advisor Ami Forte and her branch manager have been ordered to pay $34 million.

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Managed Account Pioneer Frank Campanale Manages His Career

by Mason Braswell
3/21/16 | News | 1 Comment

Frank Campanale appears to be going back to his brokerage roots.

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Cetera Settles Poaching Suit with Lightyear, Ex-Executives

by Mason Braswell
3/18/16 | Enforcement, News

Cetera Financial Group and its parent company RCS Capital Corp. have moved to settle a case that it brought on February 25 to prevent private equity firm Lightyear Capital from poaching top Cetera executives.

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Strike 3: Fired by Merrill, Dissed by RayJay….Barred Forever by Finra

by Mason Braswell
3/14/16 | Enforcement, News | 1 Comment

Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has permanently barred a broker who in the last 27 months was fired by Merrill Lynch and dismissed as an independent broker by Raymond James Financial.

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Ex-Morgan Stanley Brokers Strike Out with $40 Mln Arbitration Claim

by Mason Braswell
3/11/16 | Enforcement, News

Morgan Stanley has triumphed over a pair of brokers who claimed the company owed them almost $40 million in commissions…

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Finra Slams RayJay Recruiting, Cites Client Privacy Violations

by Mason Braswell
3/9/16 | Enforcement, News

The St. Petersburg, Fla., firm, agreed to the $500,000 settlement with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority over charges of privacy law violations.

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Wells Fargo’s Claim of Unauthorized Trading Defamed Veteran Broker: Arbitrators

by Mason Braswell
3/9/16 | Enforcement, News

An arbitration panel has ordered Wells Fargo Advisors to pay $1.9 million to a broker who alleged he was wrongfully terminated in mid-2013 and defamed in its dismissal file.

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Let Them Eat Poi! Cetera Unveils Retention Packages

by Mason Braswell
3/8/16 | News

Top producers affiliated with First Allied Securities are partying in Hawaii this week, however, they are analyzing a new retention package and comparing it with offers coming in from the outside.

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UBS Names New Beverly Hills Complex Manager

by Mason Braswell
3/4/16 | News

UBS has found a replacement to run its Beverly Hills complex after abruptly moving out the former complex manager, David Bigler, in January.

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The High Cost of Ami: Morgan Stanley Client Ends Arbitration Marathon with $475M Claim

by Mason Braswell
3/3/16 | Enforcement, News

Morgan Stanley said that the estate of Home Shopping Network co-founder Roy Speer has lifted the damages it is seeking in a Finra arbitration claim to around $475 million.

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Stifel Scores Big-City Win from MS, But Team Leader Has Baggage

by Mason Braswell
3/2/16 | Advisor Moves, News

Stifel put a big-city sheen on its recruiting credentials this week by hiring three New York City advisors from Morgan Stanley.

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Another Merrill Int’l Advisor Defects

by Mason Braswell
2/25/16 | Advisor Moves, News

The fallout continues from Merrill Lynch’s decision to restructure its international unit last summer.

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Broker Warns Bonus Arbitrations Are a “Fixed Game”

by Mason Braswell
2/18/16 | News | 1 Comment

No matter how good a broker’s case may be to retain a signing bonus, the odds of prevailing in arbitration are oppressive.

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Wells Fargo Seeks $2.1 Million from ‘Bada Bing’ Broker

by Mason Braswell
2/17/16 | Enforcement, News

Wells argued that Aaron Parthemer used the bonuses to fund activities that violated securities law and the bank-owned broker-dealer’s internal policies.

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Recruiters “Carpet-Bomb” Deutsche Branches

by Mason Braswell
2/16/16 | News

As the deadline approaches for Deutsche Bank’s U.S.-based brokers to commit to join the new Alex Brown division at Raymond James, recruiters and competitors hoping to divert brokers are giving up

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Morgan Stanley Names New Southeast Region Manager

by Mason Braswell
2/12/16 | Advisor Moves, News

Morgan Stanley has elevated Timothy P. Byrnes to replace Craig Norton as head of its wealth management division’s Southeast region, one of eight national sales regions.

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MEMO: Raj Dhanda leaving Morgan Stanley after 26 years

by Mason Braswell
2/10/16 | Advisor Moves, News

Raj Dhanda, a senior executive at the center of Morgan Stanley’s push to deliver more banking products to its wealth management clients, has left the firm to “pursue other opportunities”

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Finra Suspends Ameriprise Broker Who Sold Stock to His Managers

by Mason Braswell
2/10/16 | Enforcement, News

An Ameriprise Financial broker accused of selling more than $1.5 million of privately issued shares to clients and his sales managers has agreed to a one-year suspension.

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Schwab Mulls Licensing Robo to IBDs

by Mason Braswell
2/9/16 | News

Charles Schwab Corp is considering licensing its robo-advisor to banks and independent broker-dealers as a way to grow assets on the platform.

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RayJay Gives Deutsche’s “Alex Browners” March Deadline

by Mason Braswell
2/9/16 | News

Raymond James Financial has given Deutsche Bank brokers until next month to decide whether they will accept a position with the company.

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The Merrill Mass Exodus That Never Was

by Mason Braswell
2/4/16 | News

Forecasts that brokers would be thundering out of Merrill Lynch in early January have proven as ill-conceived as year-end outlooks from brokerage firms that the stock market was about to roar.

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Pershing to Replace CEO DeCicco with COO Dolly

by Mason Braswell
2/3/16 | News

Pershing LLC, the largest clearing firm for broker-dealers and a major custodian for registered investment advisers, is about to name a new chief executive.

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UPDATED: Schwab Is Back, Aims New Program at Multi-Millionaires

by Mason Braswell
1/29/16 | News

Attention, private bankers and upper-high-net-worth brokers!

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On-Air Advisor Dawn Bennett Stands Up SEC “On Principle”

by Mason Braswell
1/28/16 | News

Dawn Bennett, an independent broker and advisor for almost 30 years, is boycotting an SEC administrative proceeding accusing her of fraud, saying the process is unconstitutional.

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Morgan Stanley’s Furber, a Friend of Fleming, Resigns

by Mason Braswell
1/25/16 | News

Less than a year after assuming a new position as head of institutional wealth management at Morgan Stanley, Sara Furber has resigned.

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UBS Demotes Beverly Hills Complex Manager

by Mason Braswell
1/22/16 | Enforcement, News

On Thursday, advisors at the firm’s Beverly Hills, Calif., complex learned that complex manager David Bigler had stepped down.

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RayJay CEO: DOL Fiduciary Battle Is Over

by Mason Braswell
1/21/16 | News

After countless hours of lobbying, one big opponent of the Department of Labor’s plan to rein in brokers’ profit from retirement accounts has thrown in the towel.

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Finra Suspends Ameriprise Regional Manager Over Private Placement

by Mason Braswell
1/15/16 | Enforcement, News

In addition to the 10-day suspension, which starts on January 19, Dunlap will pay a fine of $15,000.

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MS Brokers Brace for Sap-and-Shelley Show

by Mason Braswell
1/7/16 | News

Can wealth management or any major bank division survive under a co-head structure?

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SEC Slams JPMorgan Over Pay to Private Bankers

by Mason Braswell
1/6/16 | Enforcement, News

The Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday fined J.P. Morgan Securities $4 million for misleading clients.

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It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane….It’s Ron CARSON!

by Mason Braswell
1/5/16 | News

There are times when even the most customer-centric salesman can’t help calling attention to himself.

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