Broker Spotlight: Wells Fargo Advisor Marcus Debaise

shutterstock_99315272According to the BrokerCheck records kept by Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) broker Marcus Debaise (Debaise) has been the subject of at least 14 different customer complaints over the course of his career. Beginning in 2011 and continuing into 2015, customers have been filing complaints against Debaise alleging that the broker made unsuitable investments and unauthorized trading in speculative securities that were inappropriate for the customer.

Debaise has been registered with FINRA since 1993. From 2003 until present Debaise has been registered with Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC (Wells Fargo).

All advisers have a fundamental responsibility to deal fairly with investors including making suitable investment recommendations. Part of the suitability requirement is that the broker must have a reasonable basis to believe, based on appropriate research and diligence, that all recommendations are suitable for at least some investors. Thus, the product or investment strategy being recommended must be appropriate for at least some investors and the advisers must convey the potential risks and rewards before bringing it to an investor’s attention. Second, all brokers must have a reasonable basis to believe that the recommended investment strategy is suitable for the particular customer. The recommendation must be reasonable for the investor based upon the investor’s risk tolerance, investment objectives, age, financial circumstances, other investment holdings, and experience.

In addition, advisors cannot engage in unauthorized trading. Such trading occurs when a broker sells securities without the prior authority from the investor. The broker must first discuss all trades with the investor before executing them under NYSE Rule 408(a) and FINRA Rules 2510(b).  These rules explicitly prohibit brokers from making discretionary trades in a customers’ non-discretionary accounts. The SEC has also found that unauthorized trading to be fraudulent nature.

The number of complaints made by investors against Debaise is rare in the industry. According to InvestmentNews, only about 12% of financial advisors have any type of disclosure event on their records. Brokers must disclose different types of events, not necessarily all of which are customer complaints. These disclosures can include IRS tax liens, judgments, and even criminal matters.

Investors who have suffered losses may be able recover their losses through securities arbitration. The attorneys at Gana LLP are experienced in representing investors in cases of selling away and brokerage firm’s failure to supervise their representatives. Our consultations are free of charge and the firm is only compensated if you recover.