Ron Carson's firm sued by former client for $500,000

Arbitration claim accuses well-known adviser of actions that resulted in excessive fees

Feb 14, 2019 @ 2:23 pm

By Bruce Kelly

Carson Wealth Management, one of the most recognizable names in the financial advisory business, is being sued by a former client for $500,000 for charging fees the client claims were excessive.

The arbitration claim, which was filed on Dec. 24, came to light on the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc.'s BrokerCheck profile of Ron Carson, the well-known head of Carson Wealth Management. It was initially reported Wednesday on Financial Planning magazine's website.

The investment products in question involve so-called "direct investments," as well as limited partnerships, according to BrokerCheck, both of which are typically illiquid.

The client also alleges that Carson Wealth Management improperly notified an unnamed product sponsor that the client was no longer a client of the firm. This resulted in the client allegedly being charged the product sponsor's standard fees, rather than a lower rate negotiated by the firm, according to the allegations listed on BrokerCheck.

"As a result, the client claims that it was overcharged fees by the product sponsor," according to the allegations listed on BrokerCheck.

Mr. Carson is a registered broker with Cetera Advisor Networks, which he joined in 2017 after spending 27 years at LPL Financial. He has two other customer disputes on his BrokerCheck profile: one that was withdrawn in 2004 and another from 2002 that claimed $12 million in damages and resulted in a $50,000 award.

"For clarification, Carson, in fact, negotiated on the client's behalf to save the client millions — not cost the client, as stated in the dispute," Mr. Carson said in an email message to InvestmentNews. "The firm never received any of the aforementioned fees from the client, a sponsor, or any other third party in exchange for services and, by negotiating great terms, actually made the client millions of dollars on their investment."

"The allegation is currently in dispute and has not been finalized," said firm spokesman Sam Johnston, who added that Mr. Carson and his firm have not been found in violation of the client's claims.

Carson Wealth Management has $5.1 billion in total assets under management, according to the firm's Form ADV on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission.


What do you think?

View comments

Most watched


How the 2020 elections could impact ESG investing

Joseph Keefe, president of Impax Asset Management, on the elections and how advisers can build a bridge to the next generation of clients with ESG investing.


How advisers can be a gamechanger for women investors

Why women defer to men when it comes to finances and how advisers can combat this phenomenon and make a difference for female investors, according to Heather Ettinger, founder and CEO Luma Wealth Advisors.

Latest news & opinion

Charles Schwab reportedly in talks to buy USAA brokerage, wealth management business

The deal would net Schwab roughly $100 billion in new assets.

Advisers scramble to help retirees navigate looming Fed rate cut

The Fed's first interest-rate cut in a decade has advisers warning against chasing the bait of risk over safety.

CFP Board to announce possible delay of new fiduciary standard

Organization's CEO confirms meeting with Edward Jones, says broker-dealer still considering how to move forward.

Departure of Alexander Acosta could slow DOL effort to revise fiduciary rule

Acting secretary Patrick Pizzella will have to make political decision to move ahead.

SEC member Peirce to brokers: Talk to us early, often about Reg BI implementation problems

She's willing to advocate for additional compliance time if firms have made a good faith effort.


Hi! Glad you're here and we hope you like all the great work we do here at InvestmentNews. But what we do is expensive and is funded in part by our sponsors. So won't you show our sponsors a little love by whitelisting It'll help us continue to serve you.

Yes, show me how to whitelist

Ad blocker detected. Please whitelist us or give premium a try.


Subscribe and Save 60%

Premium Access
Print + Digital

Learn more
Subscribe to Print