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Morgan Stanley reports a loss of advisers after exiting the protocol for broker recruiting

January 18, 2018

Morgan Stanley lost 47 brokers in the fourth quarter, the same quarter it clamped down on advisers leaving by backing out of the protocol for broker recruiting. The number of brokers leaving in the fourth quarter was the most in any single quarter...

Relying on trainees, Merrill Lynch boosts adviser headcount in 2017

January 17, 2018

Despite cutting back on recruiting experienced financial advisers, Merrill Lynch increased its adviser headcount by 2% in 2017, adding 333 people for a total of 14,953 at the end of last year, according to Merrill's parent company, Bank of America,...

Rising star at Merrill in New York lands at JP Morgan Chase

January 16, 2018

Racquel Oden, who abruptly bolted Merrill Lynch last month as the manager of its flagship 5th Avenue branch in Manhattan, is landing at JP Morgan Chase, where in March she will become divisional director of the northeast. According to an internal...

Brokerage stocks still have room to run: analyst

January 8, 2018

The stocks of smaller, mid-cap brokers, most notably LPL Financial Holdings Inc., and electronic trading firms have the greatest potential valuation upside in 2018. Various policy tailwinds and economic drivers appear poised to give a shot to...

Massive investment fraud fueled by slick marketing, hot dinners

January 5, 2018

For almost five years, the SEC said the Woodbridge Group of Companies operated a billion-dollar Ponzi scheme, taking advantage of 8,400 investors, many of them elderly. What is striking about the alleged fraud is that it operated in plain sight....

Wirehouses turn away from bitcoin

January 4, 2018

Wall Street's wirehouses are turning up their noses at bitcoin. None of the four — Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, UBS Wealth Management Americas and Wells Fargo Advisors — are giving their wealth management and retail advisers access to...

Citigroup is latest big firm to dump broker protocol

December 29, 2017

Another large brokerage has decided to exit the so-called protocol for broker recruiting, with Citigroup Global Markets confirming on Friday that it was leaving the agreement. "Similar to others in the industry, Citi has decided to exit the...

Biggest Finra penalties of 2017

December 28, 2017

Financial Industry Regulatory Authority fines have been climbing for the past decade. Last year the brokerage industry saw a dramatic year-over-year increase in the Finra fines against broker-dealers, hitting a record and totaling a staggering...

Citigroup must pay $11.5 million over garbled stock ratings

December 28, 2017

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority fined and sanctioned Citigroup Global Markets $11.5 million on Thursday for displaying inaccurate research ratings for more than 1,800 public companies from 2011 to 2015 and for related supervisory...

Nuveen jumps into changing nontraded REIT market

December 27, 2017

Another major money management firm is taking a run in the volatile nontraded real estate investment trust business, with Nuveen last week registering the Nuveen Global Cities REIT Inc. The company, which does not intend to list on an exchange,...

After a superb 2017, brokerage stocks should continue to roll next year

December 22, 2017

With the broad market rising throughout 2017, stocks of brokerage firms shined. The iShares U.S. broker-dealers and securities exchanges ETF posted an increase of 26% for the year through trading Friday morning, while the S&P 500 index was up...

SEC charges Woodbridge Group with running $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme

December 21, 2017

The Woodbridge Group of Companies and its founder, Robert Shapiro, were charged on Thursday by the Securities and Exchange Commission with running a massive, $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme that targeted 8,400 investors. Formerly based in Boca Raton,...

LPL loses $462,000 arbitration claim stemming from broker who ran Ponzi scheme

December 20, 2017

LPL Financial lost a $462,000 arbitration claim on Tuesday involving a former broker who is in jail for running a Ponzi scheme. A three-person Finra Dispute Resolution panel ruled that LPL was liable to pay three sets of clients $332,000 in...

Manager of Merrill Lynch's flagship Manhattan branch walks

December 20, 2017

Racquel Oden, managing director in charge of Merrill Lynch's flagship Manhattan branch overseeing 200 advisers, left the firm on Wednesday. A source at Merrill Lynch confirmed Ms. Oden's departure but gave no reasons for her leaving. She was...

Ex-Smith Barney broker who needed new heart in fight with Morgan Stanley over clients

December 19, 2017

When Douglas Garban left Salomon Smith Barney in 2003 with a debilitating heart condition that ultimately led to a heart transplant, he claims he had an agreement with a fellow broker who took over his book of business that they would split...

Broker accepted kickbacks for IPO access: SEC

December 19, 2017

A broker was charged Tuesday by the Securities and Exchange Commission with illegally accepting more than $1 million in undisclosed kickbacks for giving certain clients preferential access to lucrative IPOs, enabling them to reap major profits...

Ex-Morgan Stanley execs pick up firm's advisers

December 18, 2017

Eager to clamp down on advisers leaving the firm, Morgan Stanley last week announced it was given a temporary restraining order from a federal judge in New Jersey against a broker who had earlier jumped to an independent broker-dealer. In October,...

Morgan Stanley's aggressive move against former employee puts brokers on notice

December 14, 2017

Morgan Stanley's pursuit last week of a temporary restraining order against a New Jersey broker who resigned December 8 is a clear sign the firm will aggressively enforce one-year non-solicititation agreements in contracts with brokers, industry...

The biggest NPH firms LPL has retained - Retention battle

December 14, 2017

In August, LPL Financial said it had acquired the four broker-dealers of the National Planning Holdings (NPH) network for $325 million, plus a possible contingency fee, from Jackson National, an insurance company. Since then competition for...

Morgan Stanley wins restraining order, but former broker can contact clients

December 13, 2017

A federal judge in New Jersey on Wednesday afternoon issued a temporary restraining order against a former Morgan Stanley broker who left the firm last week and moved to Commonwealth Financial Network but left the door wide open for the broker...

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