If you have been blindsided by a new customer complaint or threatened with termination, ask your firm's compliance who they represent. It is not you.
New Customer Dispute Allegations
We are acutely aware of the great many frivolous investor complaints brought by customers (or their attorneys who coach them) in order to score a quick "nuisance settlement" from the firm. In eight out of ten of these new client disputes, your firm will be looking to settle with your client to avoid litigation. It's simple — it almost always costs more to litigate than to just cut a nominal check and leave you with a new Customer Dispute disclosure on your BrokerCheck, IAPD, and ADV.
These new investor complaints typically bring several of the following accusations against you:
Conflict of Interest in Representation?
When a new investor complaint arises, most broker-dealers and RIA's will provide the financial advisor with in-house counsel or contract out to a law firm to defend against the investor allegations. If you conduct a bit of due diligence, you are likely to find that the attorneys that broker-dealers select to defend their advisors are the same attorneys who represent investors in bringing these meritless claims against advisors.
Be careful and be aware. You have a right to ask whose interests your company-provided attorney represents. They will tell you that they represent the broker-dealer’s interest, not yours.
AdvisorLaw only has one interest in mind: you.
Threatened U5 Termination
Allegiances fade quickly. Do not let your firm use a U5 disclosure as leverage or a weapon to retain your clients.
If you were terminated by your broker-dealer or RIA, or you know that a U5 termination is imminent, hiring AdvisorLaw now is critical to ensuring that your interests are represented. And if your firm is alleging regulatory or firm policy violations, this may be merely the first of many dominoes to fall in a much larger FINRA or SEC investigation.
We can help address the following factors of concern:
Your chance of continued employment in the financial services industry will be at risk because regulators, as well as potential employing firms, will have serious issues, and be hesitant to hire, advisors with any form of U5 termination disclosure other than “voluntary."
Negotiating these finer points on the nature of a potential U5 termination disclosure now, instead of trying to clean them up down the road, will save you money and headache.