Merrill Lynch's Conrad Branson Disciplined for Series of Unauthorized Transactions, Discretion in Customer Accounts

Attorney Advising Disclaimer

FINRA fined and suspended former Merrill Lynch (Mill Valley, California) financial adviser Conrad Kenneth Branson for making 14 unauthorized transactions in client brokerage accounts; Branson left Merrill Lynch in June 2022, joining Kingswood Capital Partners as a broker (San Diego, CA) and Kingswood Wealth Advsiors as an investment adviser (Kentfield, CA).

According to his BrokerCheck file, Conrad Branson (CRD #2939162) has a d/b/a for Kingswood called Birchwood Wealth Advisors and serves as president of Birchwood, located in Kentfield, CA.

According to AWC #2020066687601, Branson exercised discretionary authority in multiple customer accounts without prior written authorization from the customers and without approval to engage in discretionary trading in those accounts by Merrill Lynch.

FINRA charged Branson with unauthorized trading and improper use of discretion, additionally writing that the matter originated from Merrill Lynch filing a required disclosure pursuant to industry rule 4530, which ordinarily requires disclosures for customer complaints.

In April 2020, a Merrill Lynch client filed a dispute against Branson, alleging unauthorized trading in their accounts and ultimately arriving at a settlement.

If you invested with broker and investment adviser Conrad K Branson, formerly of Merrill Lynch in Mill Valley and presently with Kingswood Capital in San Diego, or with any broker or representative whose unauthorized use of discretion or improper trading in your accounts without permissions has proven harmful to your investments or 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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