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SEC Fines Raymond James and Robert W. Baird & Co. $850,000 Over Compliance Failures

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced on September 8th that they settled $850,000 worth of charges with the investment advisory firms Raymond James & Associates based out of St. Petersburg, FL and Robert W. Baird & Co. based out of Milwaukee, WI.

During the SEC’s investigation, they discovered that both firms failed to establish the policies and procedures necessary to how much their sub-advisers were charging clients in commissions when they “traded away” with broker dealers outside of their wrap fee programs. This lack of information meant that financial advisers at the firms could not give their clients accurate information on how much they would be charged on commissions when determining how suitable the wrap fee programs or sub-advisers were.

Without admitting or denying the charges, Baird has agreed to pay $250,000 in penalties to settle the charges brought by the SEC, and Raymond James will pay $600,000 to settle their charges.

The SEC’s Director of the Division of Enforcement Andrew J. Ceresney commented on the charges, saying that:

“Costs are a critical factor when firms determine whether a particular investment product or strategy is suitable for a client. Baird and Raymond James lacked policies and procedures to consider an entire category of cost information and didn’t fully evaluate whether these wrap fee programs were a good fit for their clients.”

Contact the securities fraud attorneys at Meyer Wilson today if your financial adviser failed to give you accurate information when determining the suitability of a transaction. You may be able to file a claim to recover your losses, and we handle all cases on a contingency fee basis so you won’t owe us a cent in legal fees until we are successful. Fill out our online form to give us more information about your case.

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