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Nick Schorsch's presence at Brian Block's trial unseen, but keenly felt

June 25, 2017

Nicholas Schorsch has been physically absent from the courtroom of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York for the securities fraud trial of his longtime business associate Brian Block, which started June 12. But for the...

Are brokers really ready to be fiduciaries?

June 1, 2017

The Department of Labor's fiduciary rule for retirement accounts will take effect Friday, and advisers and their broker-dealers better get ready for a new wave of risk: lawsuits and legal complaints by investors who believe they have been harmed...

Independent broker-dealer Triad Advisors sues former advisers

May 7, 2017

In a highly unusual move by an independent broker-dealer, Triad Advisors Inc. is suing a group of former advisers who left the firm to start their own broker-dealer. Last October, Triad sued the advisers, David Millican, Jeffrey Shaver and Joseph...

Berthel Fisher, once again, in hot water with Finra for failing to supervise sales

April 20, 2017

Three years ago, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. fined a mid-sized independent broker-dealer, Berthel Fisher & Co. Financial Services Inc. and an affiliate firm, a whopping $775,000 for a variety of failures to supervise sales...

Resolving Nick Schorsch's legal problems taking a long time

March 24, 2017

The legal web for Nicholas Schorsch and his partners this month became more tangled. On March 8, the RCS Creditor Trust, the group that now controls the remains of RCS Capital Corp., or RCAP, a bankrupt brokerage formerly controlled by Mr. Schorsch,...

Asking the SEC's Michael Piwowar to reconsider who will end up the real 'forgotten investors'

March 10, 2017

The investment advice industry should pause for a moment and consider acting Securities and Exchange Commissioner chairman Michael Piwowar's recent, potentially disastrous call to loosen up the market for sales of high-risk, illiquid private...

Adviser loses IRS fight, putting tax status for solo practitioners in question

February 23, 2017

In October, I wrote a column about a financial adviser who was squaring off with the IRS in a dispute over using a flow-through tax structure known as an "S corporation" to pay himself. Financial advisers who are solo practitioners have been...

Rogue brokers still pose danger to investors

February 6, 2017

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. is making a lot of noise about keeping tabs on what it perceives to be high-risk or recidivist brokers, commonly called rogues in the industry. At the start of the year, Finra placed the monitoring...

And the Golden Bull goes to ...

January 20, 2017

It's awards season in Hollywood, so the editorial staff at InvestmentNews thought it would be a good idea to hand out some prizes to those bad boy and girl brokers who have fascinated readers so with their rule-breaking performances that got...

Cambridge's Eric Schwartz looks into the future of independent broker-dealer industry

December 29, 2016

Eric Schwartz, founder, chairman and CEO of Cambridge Investment Research Inc., is one of the brightest guys in the securities business. One of the most unassuming, too. He started a predecessor to Cambridge in the 1980s but struggled with it...

Trump may kill DOL rule, but financial advice industry still needs fiduciary regulation

November 21, 2016

Many in the financial advice industry reacted with jubilation after Donald Trump's upset victory in the presidential election. As a pro-business Republican, there was little doubt to many investment advisers and brokerage executives who voted...

LPL broker in battle with IRS over how he structures his business

October 30, 2016

An LPL Financial adviser is in a thorny tax battle with the IRS, and its outcome could have wide implications for financial advisers who own their practices and use a flow-through tax structure known as an “S corporation” to pay themselves....

Morgan Stanley sales contests among advisers didn't help clients

October 11, 2016

Everyone's a winner at Morgan Stanley when the largest retail brokerage in the United States starts a contest to boost lending products, including “portfolio loan accounts,” known as PLAs at the firm. Everyone but the client, that is. The...

Brokerages walking away from arbitration awards

September 23, 2016

It's no secret that small broker-dealers are struggling to keep their doors open as technology, compliance and legal costs continue to increase, especially as they prepare to put weighty new regulations such as the Department of Labor's fiduciary...

REIT with a twist — and a high commission — is new darling of independent brokers-dealers

July 14, 2016

There's a new kind of REIT in town and it's the brainchild of John Williams, the former chairman and CEO of Post Properties Inc., a multi-family real estate company he founded in 1971 that evolved into a nontraded real estate investment trust....

Indicted broker a poster boy for industry critics like Sen. Elizabeth Warren

June 19, 2016

A Pennsylvania broker who's under federal indictment for fraudulent sales of illiquid alternative investments (i.e., nontraded real estate investment trusts) is the poster boy for all that Sen. Elizabeth Warren and her supporters believe is...

Independent broker-dealer business model is an endangered species

May 29, 2016

The current business model of many independent broker-dealers, which depends on selling high-commission products, such as variable annuities and nontraded real estate investment trusts, is an endangered species. That's the blunt assessment of...

MetLife penalty puts spotlight on bad variable annuity switches

May 8, 2016

No wonder MetLife Inc. wanted to get out of the securities business. Along with the new Department of Labor fiduciary rule making it more difficult and costly to work with clients' retirement accounts, the giant insurer's retail securities house,...

DOL fiduciary rule a big win for nontraded REITs

April 6, 2016

Executives in the $10-billion-a-year nontraded real estate investment trust industry likely were doing handstands Wednesday morning after the Department of Labor released its streamlined final version of a regulation that would raise investment...

Boost in SEC examiners to enable closer scrutiny of RIAs

February 21, 2016

The typical registered investment adviser may have let out a howl of fear and loathing when he picked up a recent issue of InvestmentNews and read that the Securities and Exchange Commission was planning to increase its number of RIA examiners...

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