The securities attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating advisor Herbert Shiraishi (Shiraishi), currently registered with Independent Financial Group, LLC (Independent Financial) out of Honolulu, Hawaii and Hilo, Hawaii. According to a BrokerCheck report, Shiraishi has been subject to at least four customer complaints and one employment termination for cause during his career. According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), many of the complaints against Shiraishi concern allegations of variable annuity sales practices.
In May 2018 a customer filed a complaint alleging that Shiraishi’s investments in variable annuities were unsuitable to the customer’s needs. The customer requested $25,500 in damages. The claim was closed.
In January 2017 a customer alleged that Shiraishi failed to disclose his purchase of a variable annuity to the customer causing $7,708 in damages. The claim was denied.
Variable annuities are complex financial and insurance products. In fact, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) released a publication entitled Variable Annuities: What You Should Know encouraging investors to ask questions about the variable annuity before investing. Essentially, a variable annuity is a contract with an insurance company under which the insurer agrees to make periodic payments to you. The investor chooses the investments made in the annuity and value of your variable annuity will vary depending on the performance of the investment options chosen. The primary benefits of variable annuities are the death benefit and tax deferment of investment gains. However, the benefits of variable annuities are often outweighed by the terms of the contract that include exorbitant expenses such as surrender charges, mortality and expense charges, management fees, market-related risks, and rider costs.
According to newsources, a study revealed that 7.3% of financial advisors had a customer complaint on their record when records from 2005 to 2015 were examined. Brokers must publicly disclose reportable events on their BrokerCheck reports that include customer complaints, IRS tax liens, judgments, investigations, terminations, and criminal cases. In addition, research has shown a disturbing pattern with troublesome brokers where brokers with high numbers of customer complaints are not kicked out of the industry but instead these brokers are sifted to lower quality brokerage firms with loose hiring practices and higher rates of customer complaints. These lower quality firms may average brokers with five times as many complaints as the industry average.
Shiraishi entered the securities industry in 1988. From April 2013 to December 2016, Shiraishi was registered with United Planners’ Financial Services of America, A Limited Partnership. Since December 2016 Shiraishi has been registered with Independent Financial out of the firm’s Honolulu and Hilo, Hawaii office locations.
Investors who have suffered losses are encouraged to contact us at (800) 810-4262 for consultation. At Gana Weinstein LLP, our attorneys are experienced representing investors who have suffered securities losses due to the mishandling of their accounts. Claims may be brought in securities arbitration before FINRA. Our consultations are free of charge and the firm is only compensated if you recover.