Every once in awhile, a FINRA-registered firm turns up as a safe haven for brokers with disclosures, or disciplinary actions and other measures taken to address allegations of misconduct.
InvestmentNews uncovered New York firm Meyers Associates LP as one such shelter, finding that 47 of Meyers Associates' 75 brokers have at least one disclosure event on their respective FINRA BrokerCheck records, available publicly at http://brokercheck.finra.org.
In other words, 63 percent of registered representatives at Meyers Associates have some type of disclosure on their records, compared to 12 percent of all registered securities professionals. This means Meyers Associates has over five times the number of red-flagged brokers in the firm's employ as the national average.
Upon further examination of the Meyers Associates' disclosure-tagged reps, it turns out a significant number of them have worked for several firms over the past 10-20 years, jumping from one to another in what is considered an industry red flag.
The examination all starts at the top, with founder and chief executive Bruce Meyers, who himself has 10 disclosure events dating back to the mid-1980s, when he jumped from firm to firm—12 jumps in all—before founding and registering with Meyers Associates in 1994, his 13th unique association.
Most recently, FINRA suspended and fined Meyers $35,000 in 2011 for failing to supervise employees. In the 20th century, however, Meyers faced allegations of causing $2.4 million in damages in four investor complaints, settling for just $240,000.
Perusing the BrokerCheck records of several Meyers Associates turns up other disclosures from tax liens in the hundreds-of-thousands of dollars to complaints for sales practice abuses, including a pattern of smaller violations that, according to SEC Chair Mary Jo White, can lead to larger instances of misconduct.
When asked about Meyers Associates, whom was the target of a February cease-and-desist order from the Connecticut Department of Banking alleging the firm sold unregistered securities in the state and failed to adequately address a broker's "pattern of customer complaints," FINRA spokeswoman Michelle Ong responded via e-mail that regulators are "very aware" of the firm.
In another instance, a Meyers Associates broker cold-called a Missouri securities regulator and using high-pressue sales tactics tried to push the sale of a tech stock claiming the company would soon be acquired by Apple. The technique back-fired and led to the state issuing a cease-and-desist order.
If you have invested with Meyers Associates or with any other brokerage firm whose representatives' constant movement from one firm to another and history of repeated disclosure and disciplinary events have predated a present instance of misconduct that has proven harmful to your investments or interests, please call The Law Offices of Jonathan W. Evans & Associates at (800) 699-1881 for investigation and consultation.