Ex-First Allied Broker Kimberly Barensten Cited for Charging Undisclosed VA Fees

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FINRA fined and suspended broker Kimberly Ann Barensten (aka Kim Ann Bielema or Bietema) for charging customers fees as part of an outside business activity involving complex variable annuities that Barensten did not disclose to her employing firm, which at the time was First Allied Securities, listing offices in Walnut Creek and San Diego, California.

According to AWC #2019062246401, Kimberly Barensten (CRD #2092280) exceeded the scope of her approved outside business activity by charging expensive asset-management fees for variable annuity (VA) accounts that she did not disclose to First Allied.

The investigation found that when Barensten created her own registered investment adviser in 2016—Barensten Advisory Services LLC—she told First Allied that the business would only charge hourly and fixed-one time financial planning fees.

After First Allied approved the outside business based on those representations, Barensten purportedly started charging advisory clients an annual 1.5% asset-management fee for managing variable annuity subaccounts.

FINRA also discovered that Barensten made inaccurate statements in annual compliance questionnaires by incorrectly stating she did not manage assets and only charged hourly fees.

After First Allied terminated Barensten in 2019 for failing to comply with the firm's disclosure policies, she joined NPB Financial Group of Burbank, CA.

If you have invested with Kimberly Barensten or with any broker or financial adviser who charged you excessive fees for an outside business activity not adequately disclosed to the representative's employing firm, thus proving harmful to your investment and interests, please call an experienced FINRA arbitration attorney at The Law Offices of Jonathan W. Evans & Associates at (800) 699-1881 for an investigation and consultation.

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