Concourse Financial Group Securities, Inc. F/K/A ProEquities, Inc. (“Concourse Financial/ProEquities”) (CRD# 15708) has many different complaints filed by FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority), state regulatory organizations, and investors such as yourself. At the Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, we have investigated Concourse Financial/ProEquities, its regulatory and customer complaints, and have also represented investors with claims of fraud, negligence, and breach of fiduciary duty against this organization and its financial advisors.
If you believe you have a claim against Concourse Financial/ProEquities, you should strongly consider hiring an investment loss lawyer. You should not wait until it’s too late to file a claim. The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A., offers free consultations. Give us a call at 800-732-2889. Let’s discuss your case and see what we can do to help you get the compensation you need and deserve.
Can I Sue Concourse Financial Group Securities, Inc.F/K/A ProEquities, Inc.?
If you’ve lost money caused by Concourse Financial/ProEquities and/or its employees’ misconduct then the answer is, YES, you can sue Concourse Financial but the odds are you signed away your right to sue in court and agreed to resolve your dispute in a FINRA arbitration proceeding. Attorney Robert Wayne Pearce has over 40 years of personal experience in FINRA arbitration proceedings and knows very well how you can not only sue Concourse Financial/ProEquities in FINRA arbitration proceedings, but WIN that arbitration. The easiest way to know if you have a viable case against Concourse Financial/ProEquities is to call Attorney Pearce at our office at 800-732-2889.
What is Concourse Financial Group Securities, Inc. F/K/A ProEquities, Inc.?
Concourse Financial Group Securities, Inc. (CRD# 15708) has been registered with the SEC and FINRA as a broker dealer since 1984. The company recently changed its name, perhaps to distance itself from the numerous regulatory complaints filed against the firm under its former name, ProEquities, Inc. The company is controlled by the Protective Life Corporation and headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama with small branch offices located throughout the United States. Its independent broker-dealer Business Model has grown through acquisition and organic development of primarily one and two person registered representative offices supervised remotely. Today there are over 500 Concourse Financial/ProEquities branch offices with over 1000 registered representatives in every state. It is now one of the 50 largest independent broker-dealer and investment advisory firms in the United States.
Concourse Financial Group Securities, Inc. F/K/A ProEquities, Inc. Has Many Different Regulatory Problems
Concourse Financial/ProEquities’ rapid growth has not been without consequences. There have been approximately 64 Federal, state and self-regulatory body disclosure events; that is, final and formal proceedings initiated by a regulatory authority (e.g., a state or federal securities agency like the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or self-regulatory body like the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) ) for a violation(s) of investment-related rules or regulations. In addition, there have been hundreds of customer complaints filed against Concourse Financial/ProEquities for misconduct by its securities sales and investment advisory representatives that are not reported by the firm on its Central Depository Record.
We have reported and written about these regulatory problems and customer complaints over many years. Concourse Financial/ProEquities is a repeat offender: there are over 7 SEC and FINRA reported disciplinary proceedings citing the firm with one form of supervisory lapses.
A BRIEF OVERVIEW OF SOME OF THE REGULATORY PROBLEMS CONCOURSE FINANCIAL GROUP SECURITIES, INC. F/K/A PROEQUITIES, INC. HAS FACED OVER THE YEARS*
Concourse Financial/ProEquities has been repeatedly censured, warned, and fined and ordered to pay millions dollars for its own misconduct and failure to supervise its army of financial advisors.* A few of the notable FINRA Sanctions for its Supervisory Failures are below:
SEC Orders Concourse Financial Group F/K/A ProEquities To Pay Investors Over $1.8 Million
The SEC investigated Concourse Financial Group F/K/A ProEquities and discovered multiple breaches of fiduciary duty and inadequate disclosures by registered investment adviser Concourse Financial Group F/K/A ProEquities in connection with its mutual fund share class selection practices and the fees it and its associated persons received pursuant to Rule 12b-1 under the Investment Company Act of 1940 (“12b-1 fees”). At times during the relevant period, Concourse Financial Group F/K/A ProEquities purchased, recommended, or held for advisory clients mutual fund share classes that charged 12b-1 fees instead of lower-cost share classes of the same funds for which the clients were eligible. Concourse Financial Group F/K/A ProEquities and its associated persons received 12b-1 fees in connection with these investments. Concourse Financial Group F/K/A ProEquities failed to disclose in its Form ADV or otherwise the conflicts of interest related to (a) its receipt of 12b-1 fees, and/or (b) its selection of mutual fund share classes that pay such fees. During the relevant period, Concourse Financial Group F/K/A ProEquities and its associated persons received 12b-1 fees for advising clients to invest in or hold such mutual fund share classes. As a result, the SEC ordered Concourse Financial Group F/K/A ProEquities cease-and-desist from committing or causing any violations and any future violations of Sections 206(2) and 207 of the Advisers Act, censured the investment adviser, and ordered it to pay $1,852,383.10 in disgorgement and prejudgment interest to investors.
FINRA Sanctions Concourse Financial Group F/K/A ProEquities For Mutual Fund Abuse
FINRA launched an investigation and uncovered the fact that Concourse Financial Group F/K/A ProEquities disadvantaged certain retirement plan and charitable organization customers that were eligible to purchase Class A shares it certain mutual funds without a frontend sales charge (“Eligible Customers”). These Eligible Customers were instead sold Class A shares with a front-end sales charge or Class B or C shares with back-end sales charges and higher ongoing fees and expenses. During this period, Concourse Financial Group F/K/A ProEquities failed to establish and maintain a supervisory system and procedures reasonably designed to ensure that Eligible Customers who purchased mutual fund shares received the benefit of applicable sales charge waivers. As a result, FINRA concluded that Concourse Financial Group F/K/A ProEquities violated NASD Conduct Rule 3010, FINRA Rule 3110, and MIRA Rule 2010. As a result of that misconduct, FINRA sanctioned Concourse Financial Group F/K/A ProEquities by imposing a censure, ordering remediation and restitution to the Eligible Customers who did not receive the applicable mutual fund sales charge waivers.
FINRA Sanctions Concourse Financial Group F/K/A ProEquities For Lax Supervision
FINRA investigated Concourse Financial Group F/K/A ProEquities and discovered multiple supervisory rule violations. First, it found that Concourse Financial Group F/K/A ProEquities failed to establish, maintain, and enforce adequate written procedures to supervise sales of non-traditional exchange-traded funds, in violation of NASD Conduct Rules 3010(b) and 2110 and FINRA Rule 2010. In addition, Concourse Financial Group F/K/A ProEquities failed to establish, maintain, and enforce written procedures to supervise the creation and dissemination of consolidated reports, in violation of NASD Conduct Rules 3010, subparts (b) and (d)(2), and 2110 and FINRA Rule 2010. Also, that Concourse Financial Group F/K/A ProEquities failed to enforce its written procedures relating to the supervision of registered persons conducting investment-advisory business through an independent registered investment adviser (“RIA”), in violation of NASD Conduct Rules 3010(d) and 3040(c) and FINRA Rule 2010. Moreover, Concourse Financial Group F/K/A ProEquities failed to enforce certain provisions of its written procedures relating to the supervision of sales of variable annuities and 1035-exchange transactions, in violation of NASD Conduct Rule 3010(b) and FINRA Rules 2330(d) and 2010. Finally, it found that Concourse Financial Group F/K/A ProEquities violated NASD Conduct Rule 3010(b) and FINRA Rules 2330(d) and 2010 by maintaining written procedures relating to the supervision of sales of variable annuities that identified, but did not sufficiently address, particular factors to be considered in assessing the suitability of a recommendation to buy or sell, in whole or in part, a variable annuity. I was standing all of those supervisory failures, FINRA only censured and fined the broker-dealer, $200,000.
FINRA Sanctions Concourse Financial Group F/K/A ProEquities For UIT Sales Abuse
During the course of another FINRA audit, its examiners discovered Concourse Financial Group F/K/A ProEquities failed to apply sales charge discounts to certain customers’ eligible purchases of unit investment trusts (”U?Ts”) in violation of FINRA Rule 2010. In addition, they found Concourse Financial Group F/K/A ProEquities failed to establish, maintain and enforce a supervisory system and written supervisory procedures reasonably designed to ensure that customers received sales charge discounts on all eligible UIT purchases in violation of NASD Conduct Rule 3010 and FINRA Rule 2010. As a result, FINRA censured and fined Concourse Financial Group F/K/A ProEquities $165,000 and ordered it to make restitution to its customers in the amount of $109,709.
FINRA Sanctions Concourse Financial Group F/K/A ProEquities For Cheating Investors Out Of Mutual Fund Share Breakpoint Discounts
FINRA investigated Concourse Financial Group F/K/A ProEquities and discovered that the firm failed to promptly review any customer inquiries concerning the availability of applicable breakpoint discounts. In fact, it failed to promptly respond to customer inquiries in approximately 1,115 instances. Not only did it fail to promptly respond to those customer inquiries, but it failed to provide timely refunds to those customers who were cheated out of mutual fund share breakpoint discounts. FINRA concluded Concourse Financial Group F/K/A ProEquities violated NASD Conduct Rule 2110 and imposed the sanction of a censure and a fine in the amount of $25,000 on the brokerage firm.
*Above are only some of the regulatory disciplinary actions filed against Concourse Financial Group F/K/A ProEquities by FINRA. There are at least 57 more SEC, FINRA, NASSA, and/or state securities regulator investigations and enforcement actions reported on BrokerCheck as regulatory disciplinary proceeding disclosures.
Concourse Financial Group F/K/A ProEquities Customer Complaints
There have been hundreds of complaints filed against Concourse Financial/ProEquities stockbrokers and investment advisors over the years. We have launched many investigations of current and former Concourse Financial/ProEquities advisors:
If you have lost money investing with any of these Concourse Financial/ProEquities advisors or others within this brokerage firm, it’s important that you reach out to an investment loss attorney quickly because the statutes of limitations can bar your claims. Call us at 800-732-2889.
Why Does Concourse Financial Group Securities, Inc. F/K/A ProEquities, Inc. Have So Many Regulatory Problems And Customer Complaints?
Independent broker-dealers are notorious for their lax supervisory practices and procedures. The business model of these franchise type operations is to open many offices nationwide for steady growth of fixed monthly revenues without the costs attendant to a full-service branch office with on-site manager, compliance officer and operation personnel. The registered representatives of these independent broker-dealers generally operate as separately incorporated businesses. They are not employees of the broker-dealer and therefore not controlled in the same manner as full-service brokerage firm representatives. The registered representatives control their structure and costs to maximize profits and often leave the protection of investors’ rights and interests as their lowest priority.
The typical supervisory organization of independent broker-dealer operations is to have other independent contractors operate Offices of Supervisory Jurisdiction (OSJs) to monitor the registered representatives from geographically remote offices and then report to the main franchisor’s compliance office at national headquarters. The supervisors at the OSJs are not employees of the franchisor and often run their own brokerage, insurance and other businesses. They are not devoted full-time supervisors of the smaller branch offices. Consequently, OSJ managers cannot and do not supervise the day-to-day operations of the registered representatives of these Independent broker-dealers.
Generally, there is no immediate review of new accounts opened, securities transactions, business records, cash or securities receipts and deliveries, correspondence and business activities unrelated to the securities brokerage operation at these independent brokerage firms. The lax supervision leaves investors who have transferred their accounts to the smaller independent broker-dealer vulnerable to sales of securities that have not been reviewed or authorized by anyone other than the sales representative earning a commission. There may be no one onsite to detect forgeries of clients’ signatures on documents, the placement of inaccurate information about a client’s investment objectives and financial condition to document the suitability of a particular investment recommendation. Oftentimes there is no daily review of sales literature and client correspondence to protect against misrepresentations and misleading statements being made to investors. In fact, it is not unusual for there to be only one compliance audit visit per year at many of these offices.
These Independent brokerage business operations are worrisome to the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA), which has documented more instances of sales abuse and consequently investor losses at these firms than the traditional brokerage firms with branch offices with on-site managers and compliance personnel.
Did Concourse Financial Group Securities, Inc. F/K/A ProEquities, Inc. Advisor Misconduct Cause You Investment Losses?
When financial advisor misconduct has caused you to lose substantial value to your investment accounts, you have the right to seek reimbursement from the responsible parties. Concourse Financial/ProEquities is responsible like any employer for its financial advisors acts and omissions. In addition, it has an independent duty to supervise its stockbrokers and investment advisors. These cases can be extremely complex, and so having the support of a reputable attorney who is experienced in recovering investment losses for investors is key to your success. Many customers make the mistake of contacting Concourse Financial/ProEquities without representation with an attorney about their complaints and have their complaints denied.
Consult With An Attorney Who Recovers Investment Losses Caused By Concourse Financial Group Securities, Inc. F/K/A ProEquities, Inc. Today!
The attorneys at The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A., have helped countless investors over the last 40 years recover the losses from their investment accounts that were caused by broker negligence or misconduct. The firm has extensive experience with Concourse Financial/ProEquities cases, and Attorney Pearce is committed to seeing that those responsible for the losses you have suffered are held fully accountable.
Give us a call at 800-732-2889. Let’s discuss your case and see what we can do to help you get the compensation you need and deserve.