SEC bars unregistered adviser attempting to serve professional athletes

Daryl Davis allegedly made several false claims about the size of his firm, Parrish Group, and celebrity clients

Jul 3, 2019 @ 1:04 pm

By Ryan W. Neal

The Securities and Exchange Commission has barred and issued a cease-and-desist order to a Washington, D.C., man who attempted to lure professional athletes as clients while not being registered as an investment adviser.

Daryl Davis hasn't been registered with the SEC since 2008, but in 2016 created a brochure advertising the investment advisory services of his firm, The Parrish Group, according to an SEC filing. Mr. Davis allegedly emailed the brochure to at least 80 clients, specifically targeting young athletes just beginning their professional careers, and their parents.

(More: What advisers need to know to serve professional athletes)

The brochure made several false claims about Parrish Group. For example, Mr. Davis said he managed more than $1 billion in assets, but the SEC said he never managed any significant assets. Despite being the only person associated with the firm, Mr. Davis allegedly claimed 14 people worked for Parrish Group and named three individuals as executives who never held any roles with the firm.

The SEC also said the brochure named several "prominent individuals and entities" as supposed clients, including business executives, celebrity athletes, a pension fund and an employee health system.

According to Chase Carlson, an attorney at Miami-based law firm Carlson Law, who said he obtained the brochure from a person harmed by Mr. Davis, the individuals named included Black Entertainment Television CEO Bob Johnson, boxer Manny Pacquiao and National Basketball Association stars DeMarcus Cousins, Dwight Howard and Victor Oladipo.

(More: SEC bars head of terminated RIA, orders $1.3 million in payments)

"Mr. Davis was claiming to manage $1.4 billion in client assets, which would have made him one of the largest money managers working with athletes, yet at the same time court records showed at least six cases against him relating to nonpayment of rent and/or eviction," Mr. Carlson said. "His stories simply didn't match up. Luckily the SEC caught on and put an end to it."

Mr. Davis could not be reached for comment.

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