The Securities Litigation Expert Blog

Accelerant Publishes New White Paper: "Suitability Obligations When Using Specialists"

Posted by Jack Duval

Oct 16, 2013 4:10:45 AM

The white paper can be found here.

From the introduction:

The specialist system has existed in the brokerage world since the 1980’s, however, it has not received a great deal of regulatory or expert commentary. This is remarkable since the use of specialists is common throughout the industry, particularly in the sales of complex products.

This paper explores the suitability obligations of Registered Representatives and product specialists when jointly making recommendations to clients. The origin and evolution of the specialist system is examined along with the functions typical of specialists. The industry distinction between “inside” and “outside” specialists is described, and selling agreements between Broker-Dealers (“BDs”) and outside specialists are examined as well.

Most importantly, a critical potential dilemma is explored in regards to suitability: what happens if the Registered Representative knows the client, the product specialist knows the product, but neither knows both?

The answer, in short, is that the Registered Representative has ultimate responsibility for the suitability of all recommendations to the client. However, if the Registered Representative involves a specialist in the recommendation at any time, then both must know the client and the investment well enough to make a suitability determination. If either fails in this regard, then the recommendation cannot be said to be suitable.


The paper is co-authored by John Duval, Sr. and Jack Duval.

 

 

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Topics: FINRA, registered representative, broker dealer, litigation, white paper, suitability, supervision, Accelerant, SEC, specialists, Jack Duval, John Duval Sr., Compliance, regulation.

Finra Requesting Comment on Recruitment Compensation Practices

Posted by Jack Duval

Jan 8, 2013 2:17:50 AM

Finra has issued NTM 13-02 requesting comment on proposed rules to disclose compensation for brokers switching firms.  (NTM 13-02)

Here's the executive summary:

Many member firms offer significant financial incentives to recruit registered representatives to join their firms, yet these compensation arrangements are not disclosed to customers when they are asked to transfer their accounts
to a representative’s new firm. To address conflicts of interest relating to recruitment compensation practices, FINRA seeks comment on a proposed rule that would require specific disclosure by the recruiting member firm of the financial incentives a representative receives as part of his or her relationship with the new firm. The recruiting member firm would be required to provide the disclosure before a former retail customer of the representative makes a final determination to transfer an account to the new firm.

See our previous coverage on compensation disclosure here.

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Topics: FINRA, disclosure, registered representative, Investment Advisors, compensation, Compliance, regulation.

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