According to InvestmentNews, Bank of America Merrill Lynch asked two veteran advisors, James Goetz and Stephen Brown, to resign for allegedly recommending clients invest outside the firm. It is alleged that Goetz and Brown encouraged some clients to invest directly in a hedge fund the two managed rather than through Merrill Lynch’s investment platform.
Reportedly, Goetz and Brown were part of Merrill Lynch’s Private Banking and Investment Group that managed approximately $2.5 billion in assets. The firm was called the Brown Group. The advisers reportedly catered to wealthy investors with at least $10 million in assets.
When a financial advisor sells securities outside of their firm or without the firm’s permission that act can be considered selling away. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) prohibits selling away. It is unclear from the report if FINRA is investigating the situation.
The foregoing information, which is available on the InvestmentNews website, is being provided by The White Law Group. The White Law Group is a national securities fraud, securities arbitration, and investor protection law firm with offices in Chicago, Illinois and Vero Beach, Florida.
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