SEC investigating top Oppenheimer executive

Firm's head of retail, Robert Okin, resigned last week

Dec 10, 2014 @ 1:53 pm

By Bruce Kelly

The head of retail brokerage at Oppenheimer & Co., who resigned on Friday, is facing an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Robert Okin resigned from Oppenheimer to pursue other interests, according to a report from Reuters.

Mr. Okin was told in October by the enforcement division of the SEC that it had made a preliminary determination that it would charge him for violating securities laws, specifically failure to reasonably supervise.

Albert Lowenthal, chairman and CEO of Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. (USA), the parent of the retail brokerage, did not return a call on Wednesday afternoon seeking comment.

Mr. Okin was a top executive at Oppenheimer and had $1.14 million in total compensation last year, according to Oppenheimer Holdings' proxy statement. He could not be reached for comment.

On his BrokerCheck report, he denied any violations of the Securities Exchange Act and stated that he “intends to vigorously defend himself in the event that such charge is filed.”

Based in New York, Oppenheimer has about 100 offices and 1,350 brokers. Oppenheimer Holdings produced $1 billion in total revenues in 2013 and a net profit of $25 million.

Oppenheimer Holdings earlier this year disclosed it was being investigated by multiple enforcement agencies for issues related to money laundering and penny stocks.

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