Articles Tagged with Wells Fargo investment attorney

shutterstock_171721244-300x200The law offices of Gana Weinstein LLP are currently investigating claims that advisor Peter Ianace (Ianace) has been accused by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) of engaging in undisclosed outside business activities (OBAs).  According to records kept by FINRA Ianace was employed by Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC (Wells Fargo) and Merrill Lynch Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (Merrill Lynch) through June 2020 when he abruptly resigned when he refused to cooperate in FINRA’s investigation over these allegations.  If you have been a victim of Ianace’s alleged misconduct our firm may be able to assist you in recovering funds.

According to FINRA, the regulatory barred Ianace after he consented to the sanction that he refused to provide documents and information requested by FINRA in connection with its investigation into his potential failure to disclose outside business activities (OBAs) to his member firm.

Ianace’s BrokerCheck also reveals four customer complaints.  The most recent allegation in January 2021 alleges unsuitable investment recommendations and misrepresentations from February 2013 until December 2019 and claims $18 million in damages.  The claim is currently pending.

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shutterstock_189302954-300x203The law offices of Gana Weinstein LLP are following the investigation by the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth’s office where the Secretary of the Commonwealth opened an investigation into Wells Fargo’s brokerage and advisory sales practices.  Specifically, the state announced that the investigation seeks information related to inappropriate referrals of brokerage customers to managed and advisory accounts, unsuitable recommendations of alternative investments, as well as unsuitable referrals and recommendations in connection with 401(k) rollovers.

These three areas have been incredibly problematic in the securities industry in recent years.  First, brokerage firms have been accused of referring clients from brokerage accounts into advisory accounts even though the client does not need the advisory account.  The issue is that the fee structure in the advisory account is much greater and the client receives no additional investment service that the customer needs for the increased cost.  The second issue concerns complex securities products often referred to as alternative investments.  These investments can be problematic because they advisors are often paid high commissions in order to sell alternative investments that are rarely appropriate for investors.  Finally, in recent years there have been issues with advisors recommending a 401(k) rollover into a brokerage account.  The issue is that most 401(k) plans are very cost effective for investors and keep fees very low.  By contrast, brokers want to amass client’s 401(k) assets where the firm and broker can charge much higher fees for services that the client does not need.  Many times the client would have been better off not transferring their accounts to an advisor due to the higher cost and the potential for unsuitable investment advice.

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