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SEC charges Connecticut RIA with stealing $3.95M from investors

February 2, 2017

The Securities and Exchange Commission has charged Connecticut-based Sentinel Growth Fund Management and its founder-owner, Mark J. Varacchi, with stealing $3.95 million from investors. In its complaint, the SEC alleges that Mr. Varacchi and...

Dodd-Frank law may be Trump's next big target

January 30, 2017

President Donald Trump stepped up his criticism of financial regulations, pledging to go after the 2010 Dodd-Frank banking overhaul because he said the law has made it difficult for businesses to get loans. “We're going to be doing a big number...

Regulators use big data to turn up enforcement heat

January 30, 2017

Securities regulators are turning to big data to increase their enforcement firepower, a move that could eventually help them more easily uncover breaches of suitability in investment product sales. The Securities and Exchange Commission recently...

Galvin orders LPL to pay $3.7 million in restitution, fines over unsuitable VA sales

January 30, 2017

LPL Financial was ordered Monday by Massachusetts regulators to pay up to $3.7 million in restitution and fines to investors as a result of an investigation into sales of unsuitable variable annuities by a former top-producing adviser based...

Adviser banned for cherry picking trades to reward himself over clients

January 26, 2017

A Massachusetts investment adviser charged with securities fraud has agreed to be banned from the securities industry after the Securities and Exchange Commission uncovered an illegal cherry-picking stock scheme. The SEC filed fraud charges...

What financial advisers can do about a U5 disclosure

January 25, 2017

Did your former broker-dealer file a Form U5 that makes you look bad? Have you been told that nothing can be done about it? Before accepting defeat, you owe it to yourself to hear this story. “Bob” resigned or was terminated and the firm...

Finra's new exam unit looking to identify rogue registered reps

January 24, 2017

Finra's new dedicated exam unit that keeps track of high risk or recidivist brokers is working to identify as many as 100 to 200 rogue registered reps who pose the greatest risk to investors, according a senior official with the broker-dealer...

New cybersecurity regulation hits New York financial firms March 1

January 17, 2017

New cybersecurity rules for some financial services providers are set to take effect March 1 for firms doing business in New York, and the new requirements may be showing up around the nation before too long. The fairly prescriptive proposed...

SEC hits Morgan Stanley with $13 million fine

January 13, 2017

The Securities and Exchange Commission said on Friday that Morgan Stanley agreed to pay a $13 million penalty to settle charges that it overbilled investment advisory clients due to coding and other billing system errors. The firm also violated...

DOL encourages investors to ask advisers if they are fiduciaries

January 13, 2017

Investors should press their financial advisers about whether the advisers are fiduciaries, how much they charge and whether they get paid more based on the investments they recommend, the Labor Department said Friday. In a 16-page document...

SEC announces 2017 exam priorities, adds robo-advisers to list

January 12, 2017

For the first time, the Securities and Exchange Commission has included “electronic investment advice,” or advice offered through so-called robo-advisers, to its annual list of examination priorities, highlighting regulators' concerns about...

RIAs could be ultimate winners if DOL fiduciary rule is repealed or delayed

January 11, 2017

As potential delays and road blocks pile up in front the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule, an irony is emerging in that the strongest supporters of the rule could benefit the most from the rule's demise. Independent registered investment...

New Finra head Robert Cook wants to publish exam result summaries

January 10, 2017

New Finra CEO Robert Cook has struck a popular chord with one of his first initiatives as head of the broker-dealer regulator with a proposal to release a summary report of examination findings. In a Jan. 4 cover letter to the Financial Industry...

Adviser barred from industry, must pay $577K for concealing referral fee

January 9, 2017

A Connecticut investment adviser has been barred from the industry by the Securities and Exchange Commission and will pay $577,297 in penalties for concealing a referral fee from a client and then trying to undermine the agency's investigation....

Titles advisers use to play a bigger role in fiduciary regulation

January 6, 2017

Traditionally, regulation has focused on the functional definition of fiduciary. That is, fiduciary status is triggered by what you do, not what you call yourself. While that is largely true of the Department of Labor's conflict-of-interest...

Finra targets firms hiring brokers with checkered pasts

January 6, 2017

Brokerage firms that employ registered representatives with a checkered disciplinary history are being targeted by Finra this year. In the examination priorities letter the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. released this week, the...

Finra outlines new examination priorities for 2017

January 5, 2017

In its Annual Regulatory and Examination Priorities Letter, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. outlined some new steps it is taking in exam administration as it continues to focus on high-risk brokers, senior investor abuse, brokers’...

Office of Management and Budget reviewing proposed exemption under DOL fiduciary rule for some indexed annuity distributors

January 4, 2017

The Labor Department has submitted for review a proposal that would seemingly ease the compliance process for some distributors selling fixed indexed annuities under the fiduciary rule. The Department of Labor sent its proposal, titled “Exemption...

SEC clarifies how funds should disclose fee changes to comply with DOL fiduciary rule

January 3, 2017

Mutual funds that modify their fees and offer new share classes to comply with a Department of Labor investment advice rule must clearly highlight the moves and can outline them in a prospectus appendix, according to the Securities and Exchange...

Ameriprise adviser's data breach offers cybersecurity lesson

December 20, 2016

Ameriprise Financial shut down the internet-connected backup drive its adviser was using to synchronize files from his office to his home as soon as it discovered client data was at risk earlier this month. The Minneapolis-based firm, which...

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