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Acquisition of Cetera being financed through $1 billion junk bond sale

August 21, 2018

Genstar Capital plans to finance the majority of its acquisition of Cetera Financial Group through the sale of $1 billion worth of junk bonds. According to a source close to investment bankers who did not want to be identified, the total price...

Merrill pays $8.9 million SEC penalty over undisclosed conflict of interest

August 20, 2018

Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner & Smith agreed Monday to pay an approximately $8.9 million settlement to the Securities and Exchange Commission for failing to disclose to investors a conflict of interest the brokerage had in offering products from...

Proposed SEC advice rule obscures distinctions between two business models

August 20, 2018

These days, owners of RIA firms are asking me why they should be concerned about the Securities and Exchange Commission's recent attempt to change the rules and standards for broker-dealers. While there are many ways the proposed Regulation...

Merrill team managing $235 million goes indie with Raymond James

August 20, 2018

A three-adviser team managing $235 million at Merrill Lynch in the Toledo, Ohio, area have created Patton Wealth Management and affiliated the firm with the independent unit of Raymond James. The firm, headed by David Patton, Miles O'Mailia...

HighTower on prowl for new CEO, Weissbluth to become chairman

August 20, 2018

Elliot Weissbluth is stepping down as CEO of HighTower Advisors and moving into the role of chairman as soon as the Chicago-based RIA consolidator hires a replacement. The leadership change comes less than a year after HighTower sold a majority...

Merrill team managing $325 million moves to Janney

August 20, 2018

A team consisting of a father and his two sons, who managed $325 million at Merrill Lynch in Media, Pa., have joined Janney Montgomery Scott. The Kernicky Group consists of Michael Kernicky, who had been with Merrill Lynch since 1986; son Michael...

Cambridge Investment Research bags mid-sized broker-dealer

August 20, 2018

The consolidation of the brokerage industry continues, and in the latest deal Cambridge Investment Research Inc., one of the largest independent contractor firms, said on Monday it had acquired Broker Dealer Financial Services Corp., a mid-sized...

DOL fiduciary rule might be dead, but its ghost hovers over the financial advice industry

August 18, 2018

The early bird doesn't always get the worm. Financial firms that moved quickly to prepare for full implementation of the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule and now want to reverse those policies must move cautiously to unwind the changes on...

Broker fined, barred by SEC for cherry-picking

August 17, 2018

The Securities and Exchange Commission is barring and fining Roger Denha, an investment adviser with BKS Advisors, for allegedly engaging in "cherry-picking." According to an SEC cease-and-desist order, Mr. Denha bought securities in an omnibus...

LPL recruiters jump to Ameriprise bank broker

August 17, 2018

Ameriprise Financial Inc. is bolstering its presence in the bank broker market, this week snagging two recruiters from rival LPL Financial. The two, Justin Quillen and Iain Balfour, moved their securities registration to Investment Professionals...

Top private placement manager GPB Capital halts sales to review accounting

August 17, 2018

A leading seller of high-risk, high-commission private placements, GPB Capital Holdings, with $1.8 billion in investor money, will take a break from raising new money to focus on straightening out the accounting and financial statements of its...

Are 401(k) adviser aggregators the new 'wirehouses' for elite retirement plan advisers?

August 16, 2018

The death of traditional wirehouses that's predicted periodically by industry experts is greatly exaggerated. Wirehouse advisers — those housed in the wealth management divisions of Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, UBS and Wells Fargo — stay...

Former Wells Fargo broker could face 15 years in prison for embezzlement

August 16, 2018

A former Wells Fargo adviser, who was barred from the industry in 2015, is facing felony embezzlement charges for allegedly stealing more than $500,000 from a trust fund he was overseeing. David Homan of Saginaw, Mich., could face up to 15 years...

As Ameriprise case shows, firms on hook when brokers go bad ​

August 16, 2018

Brokers forging client signatures and creating phony wire transfers were at the heart of the frauds revealed Wednesday when the Securities and Exchange Commission said that Ameriprise Financial Services will pay $4.5 million to settle charges...

Ladenburg platform to help IBDs with succession planning, acquisitions

August 16, 2018

Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services has a new suite of services and digital tools to help advisers across its subsidiary broker-dealers with succession, continuity and acquisition planning. The platform is part of an ongoing effort by the...

Ameriprise to pay $4.5 million to settle SEC charges that five reps stole more than $1 million from clients

August 15, 2018

The Securities and Exchange Commission said that Ameriprise Financial Services will pay $4.5 million to settle charges that it failed to safeguard retail investor assets from theft by its representatives. According to the SEC's order, five Ameriprise...

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...

Finra panel awards clients $5 million for churning, but from defunct brokerage

August 14, 2018

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. has slapped a defunct New York brokerage firm with a $5 million fine related to excessive account trading — churning — in what was supposed to be a conservative investment strategy. The challenge...

Galvin goes after California broker, firm after it reaped at least $750,000 on UIT trades

August 14, 2018

Massachusetts regulators have charged StockCross Financial Services and one of its brokers with engaging in improper trading practices. Specifically, it charges that the firm and its representative, Peter Cunningham of Los Angeles, recommended...

Wells Fargo tests investor patience with latest scandal

August 13, 2018

Wells Fargo & Co. investors who were learning to live with an unprecedented penalty the Federal Reserve imposed on the bank for bad behavior will have their patience tested again as details emerge on another scandal. The bank disclosed earlier...

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