Category Archives: Stifel Nicolaus & Co.

Stifel Nicolaus Ordered to Pay Elderly Couple For Puerto Rico Bond Losses

Over the past few years St. Louis based Stifel Nicolaus & Co. has faced a number of problem with regulators as well as actions filed by disgruntled customers, including:

  • In 2014, Stifel Nicolaus  was fined $60,000 by the Securities and Exchange Commission to resolve securities regulator’s allegations that the improperly sold Puerto Rico junk bonds to retail investors by selling bonds below the minimum $100,000 denomination established by the issuer.
  • In February 2017, a FINRA arbitration panel in Dallas, Texas, awarded two former elderly customers over $117,000 for losses suffered as a result of having invested in Puerto Rico municipal bonds. Follow this link to the FINRA record of Stifel Nicolaus broker Robert Kyle Ratcliff. FINRA Case 15-03427, June and Perry Burns v Stifel Nicolaus.

Puerto Rico Debt Crisis

In early 2014, various credit rating agencies downgraded the debt of Puerto Rico to non investment grade, better known as junk status or speculative grade. This downgrade triggered acceleration clauses requiring the repayment of some debt within months, rather than years.

Puerto Rico has over $70 billion of outstanding debt, with a debt to GDP ratio of about 68%. While about $30 billion (42%) of Puerto Rico’s debt is owned by residents of Puerto Rico, the larger portion is owned by non-residents, primarily residents of the continental United States.

Investors who have suffered losses on Puerto Rico’s bonds purchased from a broker employed by Stifel Nicolaus & Co. may be able to recover damages through FINRA arbitration.

Rex Securities Law , with offices in Boca Raton, FL,  and  Austin, TX,   provides representation to  investors  nationwide who are seeking recovery of investment losses due to the negligence or fraud of stockbrokers and broker dealers. If you have questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney.

Most cases handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you do not pay legal fees unless we are successful.

Nationwide Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870

Bruce R. Clark-Wells Fargo Broker-Disciplined by Texas Regulator-Longview, TX

December 2016- Longview, Texas

The Texas State Securities Board (TSSB) sanctioned  Bruce Russell Clark (CRD# 2848753) of Longview, Texas,  reprimanding him and assessing an administrative fine of $5,000.

According to the TSSB Disciplinary Order, from June 1996 to July 2016, Clark had five liens entered against him which he failed to disclose as required by the Rules and Regulations of the Texas State Securities Board.

According to publicly available records Clark is currently employed by Wells Fargo Clearing Services. His prior employment includes Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. , UBS Financial Services and Citigroup Global Markets.

Rex Securities Law , with offices in Boca Raton, FL,  and  Austin, TX,   provides representation to  investors  nationwide who are seeking recovery of investment losses due to the negligence or fraud of stockbrokers and broker dealers. If you have questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney.

Most cases handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you do not pay legal fees unless we are successful.

Nationwide Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870

Michael Delao-Former Century Securities Broker-Sanctioned by Texas Securities Regulators

December 2016-Georgetown, Texas

The FINRA records of  Michael Ramon Delao,  a  stockbroker with St. Bernard Financial Services , disclose a recently regulatory event , a prior customer dispute and 2 terminations.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is the agency that licenses and regulates stockbrokers and brokerage firms. FINRA requires brokers and brokerage firms to report customer complaints and disputes as well as regulatory sanctions. In addition brokers are required to disclose certain financial matters such as personal bankruptcies, judgments and liens.

According to FINRA records, while Delao was employed by  he was arrested in connection with two felony charges and was indicted. Although the felony charges were later dismissed, Delao did not report these events to Century or to the Texas State Securities Board (TSSB) as required by Board Rules. The TSSB reprimanded Delao and assessed an administrative fine of $7,500.

In 2009, Delao was discharged by Southwest Securities who made the following allegation: “Guaranteeing a client against losses in an email.” In 2015, Delao voluntarily resigned from Stifel Nicolaus & Company.

 

Delao has been employed with  since 10/2016. He was employed by IFS Securities from 8/2016-8/2016 and prior to that with Century Securities.

If you have questions about an account handled by Michael Delao , contact us for a no charge consultation.

Rex Securities Law , with offices in Boca Raton, FL,  and  Austin, TX,   provides representation to  investors  nationwide who are seeking recovery of investment losses due to the negligence or fraud of stockbrokers and broker dealers. If you have questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney.

Most cases handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you do not pay legal fees unless we are successful.

Nationwide Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870

Donald Watson-Former Jeffrey Matthews Broker- Discloses Discharge from Employment

November 2016-Sarasota, FL

The FINRA records of  Donald Lee Watson ,  a  former stockbroker with Jeffrey Matthews Financial Group,  who is not currently  employed disclose a prior customer dispute that has been resolved and two terminations from employment after allegations.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is the agency that licenses and regulates stockbrokers and brokerage firms. FINRA requires brokers and brokerage firms to report customer complaints and disputes as well as regulatory sanctions. In addition brokers are required to disclose certain financial matters such as personal bankruptcies, judgments and liens.

Watson’s FINRA record discloses that on 1/5/2015 he was discharged by FirstTrust LLC. The company made the following allegations in connection with the discharge: “Disregard for compliance procedures. Failure to repay debt to company. Donald Watson did not comply with requests for personal securities transaction reports and repeatedly violated email compliance protocols. Furthermore, Watson collected a 4-month series of loan payments secured by his personal and unconditional guarantee. He is now disputing the loan and expressing his intent to default.”

His record further discloses that on 12/15/2015, Watson was discharged by The Jeffrey Matthews Financial Group who made the following allegations in connection therewith: “Don Watson (DW) alleged he produced over $700k/yr in gross production at his prior employer. He produced a W2 as evidence to Jeffrey Matthews (JM). JM relied on his assertion adn W-2 as the basis for issuing a corporate advance of $200K. While employed at JM from 9/29/15-12/15/15 DW did not transition any client assets to the firm and had no gross production. DW misrepresented the W2 information as production-related, but JM subsequently learned it was not. In addition, we learned DW’s client spreadsheet presented to JM was also fraudulent.”

Jeffrey Matthews Financial Group filed a FINRA arbitration against Watson seeking recovery of the $200,000 advance plus costs and fees. In November 2016, a FINRA arbitration panel ordered Watson to pay the company $260,000. FINRA Case 16-0548. 

Watson’s prior employment in the securities industry includes:

  • Stifel, Nicolaus & Co.
  • International Assets Advisory
  • PNC Investments
  • LPL Financial
  • UVest Financial Services Group
  • Raymond James Financial Services

 

If you have losses in an account in an account handled by Donald Watson , contact us to discuss how you may be able to recover damages for those losses.

Rex Securities Law , with offices in Boca Raton, FL,  and  Austin, TX,   provides representation to  investors  nationwide who are seeking recovery of investment losses due to the negligence or fraud of stockbrokers and broker dealers. If you have questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney.

Most cases handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you do not pay legal fees unless we are successful.

Nationwide Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870

Robert Kyle Ratcliff-Stifel,Nicolaus Broker-Discloses Customer Arbitration-Denton, TX

Denton, Texas

UPDATE JULY 2017FINRA records disclose that arbitration 15-3427, discussed below, was settled 2/2017 for $117,477.

 August  2016-ORIGINAL POST   The FINRA records of Robert Kyle Ratcliff ,  a  stock broker who is currently employed by Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. , disclose a currently pending customer dispute.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is the agency that licenses and regulates stockbrokers and brokerage firms. FINRA requires brokers and brokerage firms to report customer complaints and disputes as well as regulatory sanctions. In addition brokers are required to disclose certain financial matters such as personal bankruptcies, judgments and liens.

In currently pending FINRA arbitration 15-03427, a customer of Stifel, Nicolaus  alleges damages of $75,000 for breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, failure to supervise, failure to make suitable investment recommendations, unauthorized trading, violations of Texas Securities Act, fraud, misrepresentation and breach of contract from 4/28/2011-5/28/2013.

Ratcliff has been employed by Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. since 2/2010. His prior employment includes Wells Fargo Advisors and A.G. Edwards & Sons.

Rex Securities Law , with offices in Boca Raton, FL,  and  Austin, TX,   provides representation to  investors  nationwide who are seeking recovery of investment losses due to the negligence or fraud of stockbrokers and broker dealers. If you have questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney.

Most cases handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you do not pay legal fees unless we are successful.

Nationwide Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870

Senator Elizabeth Warren Criticizes Wall Street For Inadequately Policing Stock Brokers

March 3, 2016-Washington, DC

The Investment News reported that Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren raised doubts during a Senate banking subcommittee hearing about whether FINRA can adequately police itself. Wa

During the hearing she questioned FINRA chairman and CEO Richard Ketchum on what the regulators are doing to ensure the protection of investors, citing a recent study by business school professors from the University of Chicago and University of Minnesota asserting that one in 13 brokers has some type of misconduct reported on their FINRA record. That same study shows that half of the brokers with ethical issues are fired, but 44% are rehired by another firm within a year.

While Ketchum said recidivism is being addressed, Senator Warren was not satisfied and insists that the industry must do better.

The study lists the 10 firms with the highest rate of misconduct:

FIRM                                                                     Misconduct     Brokers

Rate

1 Oppenheimer & Co. 19.60% 2,275
2 First Allied Securities 17.72% 1,112
3 Wells Fargo Advisors 15.30% 1,797
4 UBS Financial Services 15.14% 12,175
5 Cetera Advisors 14.39% 1,432
6 Securities America 14.30% 2,546
7 National Planning Corp. 14.03% 1,760
8 Raymond James Financial Inc. 13.74% 5,495
9 Stifel Nicolaus & Co. 13.27% 4,008
10 Janney Montgomery Scott 13.27% 1,394

Rex Securities Law , with offices in Boca Raton, FL,  and  Austin, TX,   provides representation to  investors  nationwide who are seeking recovery of investment losses due to the negligence or fraud of stockbrokers and broker dealers. If you have questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney.

Most cases handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you do not pay legal fees unless we are successful.

Nationwide Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870

Former Wells Fargo Advisor Broker Sanctioned for Unauthorized Trading in Customer Account

June 22, 2015

Tyler Powell  entered into a Letter of Acceptance Waiver and Consent (AWC) with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) to resolve allegations that he  exercised discretion in a customer’s account without obtaining prior written authorization from his customer in violation of NASD Conduct Rule 2510(b) and FINRA Rule 2010.

According to the AWC, between February 2011 and June 2013, he effected approximately 159 discretionary tranactions the account of a customer without obtaining prior written authority. The customer’s account was a non-discretionary fee-based account and the firm did not permit discretion in these type of accounts.

Powell was fined $5,000 and suspended for 15 days.

AWC NO. 2014040633301

According to FINRA records, Powell is currently registered with Stifel Nicolaus. He was previously registered with Wells Fargo Advisors 5/2009-8/2014.

Rex Securities Law , with offices in Boca Raton, FL,  and  Austin, TX,   provides representation to  investors  nationwide who are seeking recovery of investment losses due to the negligence or fraud of stockbrokers and broker dealers. If you have questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney.

Most cases handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you do not pay legal fees unless we are successful.

Nationwide Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870