Enforcement Actions
Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)
NOTE: Stipulations of Fact and Consent to Penalty (SFC); Offers of Settlement (OS); and Letters of Acceptance Waiver, and Consent (AWC) are entered into by Respondents without admitting or denying the allegations, but consent is given to the described sanctions & to the entry of findings. Additionally, for AWCs, if FINRA has reason to believe a violation has occurred and the member or associated person does not dispute the violation, FINRA may prepare and request that the member or associated person execute a letter accepting a finding of violation, consenting to the imposition of sanctions, and agreeing to waive such member's or associated person's right to a hearing before a hearing panel, and any right of appeal to the National Adjudicatory Council, the SEC, and the courts, or to otherwise challenge the validity of the letter, if the letter is accepted. The letter shall describe the act or practice engaged in or omitted, the rule, regulation, or statutory provision violated, and the sanction or sanctions to be imposed.
August 2011
Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. and Adrienne Barrett Tubridy (Supervisor)
AWC/2008013864402/August 2011

Deutsche Bank held contractual agreements with third-party investment advisers who provided financial services to firm customers through the firm’s adviser select program for a fee the customers paid, and the firm customers granted discretionary trading authority to the third-party advisers. The  agreements contained a confidentiality clause prohibiting firm employees from using the third-party advisers’ portfolio recommendations for other clients.

The firm instituted a written policy and procedure manual distributed to firm employees, including Tubridy, that contained guidelines related to the adviser select account and prohibited shadowing adviser select accounts, but the firm did not implement any specific systems to detect and prevent shadowing; no exception reports were created to identify shadowing, no applicable training was conducted, and no supervisory systems were put in place to monitor accounts for possible shadowing. 

In one branch office while Tubridy was responsible for performing trade reviews, shadowing was egregious and continued for years. Although the firm did not implement exception reports to identify shadowing, shadowed trades were flagged for other reasons, which required Tubridy to follow up; she examined and approved shadowed trades on the exception reports, made notations on certain trades, which indicated an awareness of shadowing, but failed to follow up on the information and neglected to raise the issue with compliance or her supervisors.

Through shadowing, firm registered representatives circumvented the fee arrangement the firm had in place for the adviser select program and violated the provisions of confidentiality agreements prohibiting the use of the third-party investment advisers’ proprietary information. In addition, the firm and involved registered representatives failed to pay a combined total of over $200,000 to third-party investment advisers. Moreover,the firm failed to establish, maintain and enforce an adequate supervisory system to detect and prevent shadowing, and Tubridy failed to recognize and follow up on “red flags” of shadowing.

Once the firm learned that shadowing had occurred, with Tubridy’s assistance, it conducted an extensive and immediate internal investigation across all branch offices to identify and halt any other shadowing activity.

Deutsche Bank Securities Inc.: Censured; Fined $350,000.  In assessing the fine, FINRA took into account financial benefits the firm obtained, and the firm’s discovery, reporting, investigation and corrective measures are reflected in the sanctions.

Adrienne Barrett Tubridy: Fined $10,000; Suspended 10 days in Supervisory capacity only; Required to cooperate with FINRA in its prosecution of any other disciplinary action related to these events by, among other things, meeting with and being interviewed by FINRA staff without the need of staff to resort to FINRA Rule 8210, and testifying truthfully at any related hearing.

Tags:  Shadowing    Investment Advisor    Supervision     |    In: Cases of Note : FINRA
Bill Singer's Comment

Yeah, okay, I get it.  However, I'm not really sure that this is a "regulatory" issue for FINRA as much as it may be a bit of civil litigation for any aggrieved third-party advisors who believe that they were damaged  by the shadowing.  Ultimately, there are only so many hours in a regulator's day and only so many dollars to get the job done. Diverting attention to a contractual matter such as this may well have prevented FINRA from uncovering activity of a far more damaging manner that harmed unsophisticated individual investors.  I'm just not that concerned about "shadowing" in relationship to far more serious frauds being run on individual investors everyday.

Sometimes there's only one fire truck and two fires -- life presents difficult choices like that all the time.

July 2011
Andrew Joseph Franz
AWC/2010025073601/July 2011

Without authorization, Franz took possession of checks payable to the investment adviser firm where he was employed, deposited the checks, which totaled about $21,000, to a personal bank account, and converted a portion of the funds to his own use and benefit.

Franz was the broker of record for a money market mutual fund account that an investor owned, and while the investor was out of state and without his knowledge or authorization, Franz contacted the mutual fund company multiple times and instructed it to issue checks to the investor drawn against his money market account. The mutual fund company issued checks payable to the investor totaling about $271,250 and mailed them to the investor’s residence in Ohio.

Franz obtained possession of the checks at the investor’s residence and, without the investor’s knowledge or authorization, Franz forged his signature on the checks, deposited the checks to a personal bank account and converted a portion of the funds to his own use and benefit and remitted the rest to the investor.

Andrew Joseph Franz : Barred
Tags:  Forgery    Investment Advisor    Mutual Funds    Conversion     |    In: Cases of Note : FINRA
Bill Singer's Comment

The frightening part of this is how easy it all was -- and how few meaningful safeguards appear to exist.  I mean, seriously, what could you reasonably do to prevent an RR from going to a customer's home, stealing his mail, forging his signature, and converting the proceeds?

Enforcement Actions