Financial Adviser Michael Jay Sharenow Subject to Multiple Client Disputes

shutterstock_95416924-300x225The investment fraud lawyers of Gana LLP are examining multiple customer disputes filed with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) against broker Michael Jay Sharenow (Sharenow). Sharenow’s FINRA BrokerCheck record shows several disclosures mainly pertaining to unsuitable investments.

In November 2016, a customer alleged that he or she instructed Sharenow to buy highly rated bonds but Sharenow instead bought two inappropriate securities. This dispute settled in November 2016 for the amount of $8,258.42.

A currently pending case against Sharenow was filed in October 2016 for allegedly over-concentrating a client’s portfolio during the period of 2012 to 2015 while he was employed at Wells Fargo Advisors. The clients claim that the alleged damages are greater than $810,000.00.

Another customer dispute against Wells Fargo and Sharenow was filed in May 2016. The claimant asserted that Wells Fargo’s registered representative, Sharenow, allegedly made unsuitable investments. These investments were allegedly inconsistent with the client’s investment objectives, risk tolerance, financial need and circumstances. The alleged damages of $325,000.00 was settled for the amount of $165,000.00 in January 2017.

Sharenow entered the securities industry in 1983. He was last employed at Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC. He was previously employed at:

• Well Fargo Advisors, LLC (June 2010 – November 2016)
• RBC Capital Markets Corporation (October 2009 – June 2010)
• J. B. Hanauer & Co. (October 1983 – October 2009)

All advisers have a fundamental responsibility to deal fairly with investors, including making suitable investment recommendations. There are three primary brokerage responsibilities outlined by the suitability rule:

  • To perform reasonable-basis suitability analysis

The adviser must investigate the investment properties (benefits, risks, tax consequences, and other relevant factors) in order to have a reasonable basis when making recommendations of products or securities suitable to his or her clients.

  • To perform customer-specific suitability analysis

The broker must understand the customer’s specific investment objectives to determine whether or not the specific product or security being recommended is appropriate for the customer based upon their needs.

  • To perform quantitative suitability analysis

All brokers and broker-dealers must have a reasonable basis for recommending a series of transactions, even if suitable when viewed in isolation, are not excessive and unsuitable for the customer when taken together in light of the customer’s objectives.
The dedicated attorneys at Gana LLP represent investors who have suffered losses due to unsuitable investments. The majority of these claims may be brought in securities arbitration before FINRA. Our consultations are free of charge and the firm is only compensated if you recover.