The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) recently sanctioned brokerage firm Dawson James Securities, Inc., (Dawson James) concerning allegations that the firm did not provide for supervision reasonably designed to comply with certain applicable securities laws and regulations.
FINRA has stated that at a minimum, written supervisory procedures should describe: (a) identification of the individual responsible for supervision; (b) supervisory steps and review procedurals to be taken by the supervisor; (c) the frequency of reviews; and (d) the documentation of reviews. FINRA found that the Dawson James’ written supervisory procedures failed to provide for one or more of the four above-cited minimum requirements for adequate written supervisory procedures for conduct concerning: (1) disclosure of potential conflicts of interests to clients; (2) trading in the opposite direction of solicited customer transactions; (3) certain broker sales practice concerns such as unauthorized trading, suitability, excessive trading, and free-riding; (4) concentration of securities in clients’ accounts; (5) the sharing of profits and losses in clients’ accounts; (6) wash transactions; (7) coordinated trading; and, (8) the review of representatives’ electronic communications, among other violations.
FINRA alleged that the firm failed to investigate numerous ”red flags” relating to the activities of one registered representative referred to by the initials “DM”, including: (1) numerous exceptions generated on the firm’ s supervisory reports which included commissions charged to DM’s clients; (2) high concentrations of one security in DM’s clients’ accounts; and, (3) numerous cancel rebill requests for DM’s clients’ accounts. FINRA also found that James Dawson failed to enforce its written supervisory procedures that required electronic correspondence be reviewed on a daily basis. FINRA also found that from January 2007 through February 2008, the firm failed to ensure that the firm’s Head Trader, referred to as the initials “AE” carried out his delegated supervisory responsibilities relating to proprietary trading; trade reporting; clock synchronization; short sale compliance; compliance with the manning rule; mark ups and mark downs; and, compliance with inventory guidelines.
The attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP are experienced in representing investors to recover their investment losses due to the failure of brokerage firms to supervise their employees. Our consultations are free of charge and the firm is only compensated if you recover.