Asset Broker Accused of Neglected Fiduciary Duties

    Stock Expert WitnessThis is a securities fraud case where a broker, the employee of a large asset management firm in Illinois, was accused of breaching his fiduciary duty. While soliciting loans from the firm’s clients and claiming personal financial distress, the broker allegedly began to engage in increasingly risky and unauthorized trades. Many options were allowed to expire altogether, with no value whatsoever. The broker did not advise his investors of these positions or to liquidate them at a loss to retain some of their value. After disregarding his clients’ risk tolerances, it was claimed that he had violated the fiduciary duties owed to an investor by their company. Subsequently, a professional with knowledge of fiduciary duties owed by investors, anti fraud, brokers and brokerage firms was brought in to opine on any breach in the standard of care.

    Question(s) For Expert Witness

    • 1. What are the fiduciary duties of the broker and brokerage firm in this instance?
    • 2. What measure could have been in place to prevent the outcome?

    Expert Witness Response E-010297

    I am an approved Regulatory Authority Dispute Resolution Arbitrator and Chartered Financial Analyst at FINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. I have held multiple FINRA and National Association of Securities Dealers licenses, including General Securities and Equity Trader Representative. I am familiar with cases of fraud, suitability, and breach of fiduciary duty. By statute, the broker and brokerage are subject to a suitability standard, as well as the customary fiduciary standard. I would need to see the broker’s U4 notice of registration and the consequent U5 notice of termination, and review his annual compliance affirmations as well as his options account application.

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