The attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating BrokerCheck records reports that Daryl Tomobu Serizawa, currently employed by Woodbury Financial Services, Inc., has been subject to at least three customer complaints during his career. According to records kept by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Serizawa’s customer complaints allege that Serizawa engaged in excessive trading, made investments that were not in the client’s best interests, and inappropriately sold private investment funds.
In December 2019, a customer complained that Serizawa violated the securities laws by alleging that Serizawa inappropriately sold private investment funds. The claim settled in the amount of $335,875.45.
In March 2005, a customer complained that Serizawa violated the securities laws by alleging that Serizawa took advantage of the customer in making purchases and sales that were not always in their best interest. Rather, it is claimed that these transactions were done specifically to generate commissions. This claim alleged $119,754.88 in damages and was denied.
In March 2004, a customer complained that Serizawa violated the securities laws by alleging that Serizawa engaged in excessive trading. The claim settled in the amount of $22,000.
Brokers are required under the securities laws to treat their clients fairly. This obligation includes the duties to disclose material risks of the investments they recommend and to present products, particularly complex or confusing products, in a fair and balanced manner that allows the client to evaluate the recommendation. Another important obligation advisors have is to make only suitable recommendations for investments to the client. There are many investments that are not appropriate for most investors or for certain investors given their risk tolerance, age, and other factors. Advisors should not present these investment options to clients. There are two screens that advisors must employ to determine whether an investment is suitable for a client. First, there must be a reasonable basis for the recommendation – meaning that the product has been investigated and due diligence conducted into the investment’s features, benefits, risks, and other relevant factors. The advisor must conclude that the investment is suitable for at least some investors and some securities may be suitable for no one. Second, the broker then must match the investment as being appropriate for the customer’s specific investment needs and objectives such as the client’s retirement status, long or short-term goals, age, disability, income needs, or any other relevant factor.
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.
Serizawa entered the securities industry in 1993. From January 1993 through July 1993, Serizawa was registered with Lehman Brothers Incorporated. From July 1993 through September 1993, Serizawa was registered with Smith Barney Shearson Incorporated. From October 1993 through February 1994, Serizawa was registered with Chatfield Dean & Co., Incorporated. From March 1994 through September 1997, Serizawa was registered with Smith Barney Incorporated. From August 1997 through February 2002, Serizawa was registered with UBS Painewebber Incorporated. From February 2002 through October 2004, Serizawa was registered with Wachovia Securities, LLC. From September 2004 through September 2010, Serizawa was registered with LPL Financial Corporation. Through November 2010 through February 2012, Serizawa was registered with Pacific West Securities, Incorporated. Through May 2012 through July 2017, Serizawa was registered with Independent Financial Group, LLC. Serizawa is currently associated with Woodbury Financial Services, Incorporated out of their Irvine, California office location.
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.