According to the BrokerCheck records kept by Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) broker William Gillis (Gillis) has been hit with at least 11 customer complaints over his career of which three have been filed in 2015 alone. Customers have filed complaints against Gillis alleging securities law violations including that the broker made unsuitable investments, poor investment advice and recommendations, failure to follow instructions, negligence, unauthorized trading, and misrepresentations among other claims. The claims against Gillis primarily involve his advice concerning equity securities. In addition, two of the claims resulted in arbitration panels awarding damages to customers.
Gillis entered the securities industry in 1986. From 2002, until August 2008, Gillis was associated with Wachovia Securities, LLC. Thereafter, from August 2008 until June 2015, Gillis was associated with brokerage firm National Securities Corporation (National Securities). Gillis does business through his DBA company Gillis Wealth Management Services in Seattle, Washington.
All advisers have a fundamental responsibility to deal fairly with investors including making suitable investment recommendations. In order to make suitable recommendations the broker must have a reasonable basis for recommending the product or security based upon the broker’s investigation of the investments properties including its benefits, risks, tax consequences, and other relevant factors. In addition, the broker must also 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.
The number of customer complaints against Gillis is high relative to his peers. According to InvestmentNews, only about 12% of financial advisors have any type of disclosure event on their records. Brokers must publicly disclose certain types of reportable events on their CRD including but not limited to customer complaints. In addition to disclosing client disputes brokers must divulge IRS tax liens, judgments, and criminal matters. However, FINRA’s records are not always complete according to a Wall Street Journal story that checked with 26 state regulators and found that at least 38,400 brokers had regulatory or financial red flags such as a personal bankruptcy that showed up in state records but not on BrokerCheck. More disturbing is the fact that 19,000 out of those 38,400 brokers had spotless BrokerCheck records.
Investors who have suffered investment losses due to churning activity may be able recover their losses through securities arbitration. The attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP are experienced in representing investors concerning securities violations. Our consultations are free of charge and the firm is only compensated if you recover.