The investment lawyers of Gana LLP are investigating Waddell & Reed Inc.’s (Waddell & Reed) termination of former broker Paul Stanley (Stanley) working out of the Edmond, Oklahoma office. Stanley had been in the industry for 16 years and was a licensed supervisor with the firm. Waddell & Reed terminated Stanley in January 2016. According to the broker’s Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) BrokerCheck filing the firm stated that Stanley was “terminated for violation of firm’s Professional Conduct, Supervisory and Compensation Policies following firm investigation evidencing that Principal failed to provide complete information during firm’s internal investigation, suggested to [registered representative] under Principal’s supervision they also not provide complete information during firm’s internal investigation, allowed [registered representative] who was not properly licensed to participate in solicitation of investment advisory business, directed [registered representative] to conduct firm business during an internal firm-imposed administrative suspension, directly compensated [registered representative] outside of firm compensation policies, failed to intercede in the sharing of investment advisory compensation between [registered representative] outside of firm compensation policies and where [registered representative] were not all properly licensed for the products at issue, emailed firm business to [registered representative] on [registered representative] outside email account, and improperly managed client paperwork.”
Subsequently, in March 2017 FINRA barred Stanley when Stanley consented to the sanction and bar for refusing to appear for on-the-record testimony requested by FINRA.
Stanley entered the securities industry in 1998. From October 2012 until October 2013, Stanley was associated with J.P. Morgan Securities LLC. From October 2013 until January 2016 Stanley was associated with Waddell & Reed out of the firm’s Edmond, Oklahoma office location.
At this time it unclear the exact activity Stanley engaged in. However, the disclosures suggest some kind of aiding of unlicensed securities activity and the sale of unapproved products. The recommending investments outside of the firm constitutes impermissible private securities transactions – a practice known in the industry as “selling away”. Often times, brokers sell promissory notes and other investments through side businesses as accountants, lawyers, real estate agents, or insurance agents to clients of those side practices.
In the industry the term selling away refers to when a financial advisor solicits investments in companies, promissory notes, or other securities that are not pre-approved by the broker’s affiliated firm. A brokerage firm’s claim of ignorance of their advisor’s activities is not a proper defense to their agent’s activities. Brokerage firms are obligated under the FINRA rules to properly monitor and supervise its employees in order to detect and prevent brokers from offering investments away from the firm and respond to red flags of potential misconduct.
In cases of selling away the investor is unaware that the advisor’s investments are improper. In many of these cases the investor will not learn that the broker’s activities were wrongful until after the investment scheme is publicized, the broker is fired or charged by law enforcement, or stops returning client calls altogether.
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 firms failure to supervise their representatives. Our consultations are free of charge and the firm is only compensated if you recover.