Geneos Wealth Management Inc., Securities America Advisors Inc., and PNC Investments recently settled with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over charges of breaching fiduciary duty which resulted in the generation of millions of dollars of improper fees.
According to the SEC, the firms will pay almost $15 million in total, more than $12 million of which will go to clients. The SEC reported that the corporations invested their clients’ funds in higher-cost mutual fund shares, despite the fact that lower cost shares were available for the same funds, a violation of their duty to seek best execution, and also failed to disclose conflicts of interest. Geneos was also charged with failing to include a note in its 2017 disclosure brochure that the revisions to its mutual fund selection disclosures were a "material change."
Financial advisors owe their clients a fiduciary duty, meaning that they are required to put their clients’ interests ahead of the institutions’ interests. Failure to do so is a breach of that fiduciary duty.
"We strongly encourage eligible firms to participate in the recently announced Share Class Selection Disclosure Initiative as part of an effort to stop these violations and return money to harmed investors as quickly as possible," said C. Dabney O'Riordan, co-head of the SEC's asset management unit.
If you were the victim of investment misconduct from a financial advisor or brokerage firm, you deserve the chance to fight for the compensation you deserve. Our investment loss attorneys at Meyer Wilson have spent years working with clients across the United States, and through our efforts have secured more than $350 million in verdicts and settlements. Fill out our online form to schedule a free case consultation with a member of our firm, or give us a call today to discuss your situation over the phone.