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Chairman should leave Ladenburg Thalmann

September 20, 2018

It's time for Dr. Phillip Frost to resign as non-executive chairman of Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc., the home of 4,300 retail brokers and financial advisers. The risk to Ladenburg Thalmann's reputation, as well as to the four independent...

Will Wells Fargo Advisors force brokers to become salesmen only?

July 19, 2018

Some of Wells Fargo Advisors 14,000 reps and advisers were buzzing Thursday, a day after Yahoo Finance published a story that reported that 200 private bankers who work with the firm's richest clients have been pushed by management to work more...

With Signator in the bag, will Advisor Group and Lightyear still chase Cetera?

June 27, 2018

Last week's announcement that John Hancock Financial Services was selling independent broker-dealer Signator Investors Inc., with 1,800 advisers and about $50 billion in assets, to Advisor Group did not come as much of a surprise. Industry rumors...

Morgan Stanley's new comp plan could pinch pay for some brokers

August 15, 2018

When Morgan Stanley released its 2019 compensation plan for its 15,632 financial advisers and brokers late last month, it made a point of saying that any changes to the grid, as it is known in the industry, would all be positive. But the new...

Sanctioned Ponzi scheme salesmen keep shilling planning, advice

May 3, 2018

Recent sanctions by state securities regulators against unlicensed brokers who sold pieces of an alleged billion-dollar real estate Ponzi scheme highlight a perennial problem the financial advice industry continues to ignore: insurance agents,...

Georgia decision on broker protocol could have wide impact

July 9, 2018

Financial advisers relying on the protocol for broker recruiting to protect their ability to jump to a new employer will face more obstacles now that a Georgia state court has ruled that advisers with contracts requiring them to give notice...

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....

REIT management gives no answers about disastrous share price

August 9, 2018

The listing of American Finance Trust Inc., the $1.6 billion real estate investment trust advised and managed by Nicholas Schorsch's AR Global, has erased almost $1 billion of the company's equity value, according to a report last month by an...

What to make of Morgan Stanley's new robo

March 22, 2018

Morgan Stanley is testing how an old-school gang of brokers and advisers and a newfangled, algorithm-driven robo-adviser can work together. When Morgan Stanley said last May that it was cutting back on recruiting and would focus on building...

Broker protocol for recruiting a boon for clients

November 20, 2017

Turns out the broker protocol for recruiting among securities firms not only helps advisers more easily relocate where they work, it also has unexpected benefits for clients. The protocol, first agreed to by a handful of large firms more than...

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....

Finra arb panel sends reps a message

March 2, 2014

A Finra arbitration panel last month hit a former registered representative with a stinging order to pay a client $250,000 in punitive damages, an almost unheard-of award for a client. The steep punitive damages ordered by the Financial Industry...

A novel idea

September 15, 2013

Many financial advisers spent the last week of August savoring the final days of summer vacation, hanging out with their families on the beach or by a lake. One veteran adviser and registered representative, Frank Congemi, chose to spend his...

Schorsch REIT listing a billion-dollar disaster for investors

July 30, 2018

The history of nontraded real estate investment trusts is littered with stories of companies that appear to have value and promise one day only to reveal a hideous portrait the next. Several REITs that raised money in the years before the 2008...

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...

How confusing are the fees brokers charge?

November 9, 2017

Financial advisers get itchy when talking about fees they charge clients. They tend to sweat a bit, looking down at the ground like it was littered with hundred dollar bills. In other words, fee chat makes some advisers uncomfortable. It's no...

DOL regulation translates into pay cut for some advisers

July 20, 2017

The Department of Labor's fiduciary rule has morphed into a pay cut for some advisers, who are left wondering whether a reduction in their compensation is being used to bolster the bottom lines of the broker-dealers with which they work. Sure,...

Finra's financial woes no recipe for viability

July 14, 2013

Along with regulating broker-dealers, Finra's mission includes protecting investors. But if the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. can't turn its fortunes around, that essential objective for financial advisers could be in jeopardy....

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...

Is David Lerner still chomping on the proprietary product apple?

May 31, 2018

Brokerage firms that sell lucrative proprietary products, such as mutual funds built and managed by company executives, face an inherent conflict of interest. It's a story that's as old as investing. When a registered rep sells a client such...

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