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Financial West Group (“Financial West Group”) (CRD# 16668) 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 Financial West Group, 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 Financial West Group, you should strongly consider hiring an investment fraud 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 Financial West Group?

If you’ve lost money caused by Financial West Group and/or its employees’ misconduct then the answer is, YES, you can sue Financial West Group 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 Financial West Group in FINRA arbitration proceedings, but WIN that arbitration. The easiest way to know if you have a viable case against Financial West Group is to call Attorney Pearce at our office at 800-732-2889.

Investment Losses? We Can Help

Discuss your legal options with an attorney at The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A.

Get A Free Consultation

or, give us a ring at (800) 732-2889.

Robert Pearce

What is Financial West Group?

Financial West Group (CRD# 16668) is a registered broker-dealer. It operates as a full-service independent broker-dealer, providing a range of financial products and services to individual investors and financial advisors.

As a registered broker-dealer, Financial West Group is subject to regulations and oversight by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). It is required to comply with industry standards and regulations to ensure the protection of its clients’ interests.

A failure to comply with industry standards by either its brokers or the firm itself can result in disciplinary actions, fines, or other penalties imposed by regulatory authorities.

Financial West Group Has Many Different Regulatory Problems 

Financial West Group’ rapid growth has not been without consequences. There have been approximately 80 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 Financial West Group 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. Financial West Group is a repeat offender: there are over 80 FINRA-reported disciplinary proceedings citing the firm with one form of supervisory lapses or another.

A Brief Overview of Some of the Regulatory Problems Financial West Group Has Faced Over the Years*

Financial West Group has been repeatedly censured, warned, and fined multi-millions of 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:

Financial West Group Fined $40,000 by FINRA for Inadequate Due Diligence in Private Placements

Brief Overview: Financial West Group, headquartered in Westlake Village, California, received censure and a $40,000 fine from FINRA after consenting to findings that its supervisory systems and procedures related to the due diligence of private placements were inadequate. Between October 1, 2008, and June 30, 2015, the firm’s supervisory protocols failed to address critical aspects of due diligence concerning the private placements it participated in. These shortcomings included lacking procedures for approving private placement offerings and evaluating them. Furthermore, the firm did not consistently follow its own written procedures regarding private placement reviews, leading to violations of NASD Rules 3010(a) and 3010(b)(1), as well as FINRA Rules 3110(a) and 3110(b)(1). FINRA also determined that these violations constituted breaches of NASD Rule 2110 and FINRA Rule 2010.

Financial West Investment Group Fined $20,000 by FINRA for Violating Escrow Account Rules

Brief Overview: In June 2017, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) announced that Financial West Investment Group, based in Westlake, California, accepted censure and a $20,000 fine in an acceptance, waiver, and consent letter (AWC) regarding its involvement in private placement offerings without utilizing an escrow account. FINRA’s allegations centered on the firm’s collection and placement of private placement securities without the use of an escrow account, which is a violation of industry regulations. The AWC noted that the firm failed to designate an account to receive the funds and instead sent checks directly from investors to the issuer. These actions not only contravened the firm’s Written Supervisory Procedures but also violated the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.


*Above are only some of the regulatory disciplinary actions filed against Financial West Group by FINRA. NASSA and other state securities regulator investigations and enforcement actions account for another 80 BrokerCheck disclosures.

Financial West Group Customer Complaints

There have been scores of customer complaints filed against Financial West Group stockbrokers and investment advisors over the years. We have launched many investigations of current and former Financial West Group advisors:

  1. Gary Ginsberg of Ameriprise Financial Services, LLC
  2. Gregory Ricker of Westpark Capital, Inc
  3. Donald Dever of UBS Financial Services Inc.
  4. Daniel Brunette of First Allied Securities, Inc.
  5. Brian Btesh of Northwestern Mutual Investment Services, LLC
  6. Arthur Grossbard of Ameriprise Financial Services, LLC
  7. Marc Friedson of RBC Capital Markets, LLC
  8. Lawrence Fawcett of WestPark Capital, Inc
  9. Rodrigue Lors of Wilmington Capital Securities, LLC
  10. Gary Ginsberg of Ameriprise Financial Services, LLC
  11. Elliot Packer of Securities America, Inc.
  12. Anthony Cottone formerly with Landolt Securities, Inc.
  13. Thomas Williamson of Northwestern Mutual Investment Services
  14. Jeffrey Cohen of Moloney Securities Co., Inc
  15. John Orlando of SW Financial
  16. Michael Packman of Axiom Capital Management, Inc
  17. Glenn Livingston of LPL Financial
  18. Chad Mackland formerly with Lion Street Financial
  19. Bryan Mazliach Formerly With WestPark Capital
  20. Steven Trevor of Charles Schwab & Co.
  21. Ann Trainor of UBS Financial Services
  22. Dwight West of UBS Financial Services
  23. Stuart Godin Formerly With Western International Securities
  24. Jefferey Biederman of Morgan Stanley
  25. Margareta Childs Formerly With Western International Securities
  26. Doron Kochavi of Western International Securities
  27. John Fulton of UBS Financial Services
  28. Richard Kelton of Raymond James Financial Services
  29. Greggory Keele of Ameriprise Financial Services
  30. Jason Hawke of D.H. Hill Securities
  31. Joseph Liana of Ameriprise Financial Services
  32. Kevin McNeil formerly with SW Financial
  33. Kenneth McCabe of Centaurus Financial
  34. Bradley Renberg of Ameriprise Financial Services
  35. Valentino Scott of Centaurus Financial
  36. Wesley Wong of Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network
  37. Andy Schwartz of LPL Financial LLC
  38. Callen Bryan of Cetera Advisor Networks LLC
  39. Cedric Powell of Ameriprise Financial Services LLC
  40. Chad Mackland formerly with Lion Street Financial
  41. Claudio Gambin of MML Investors Services, LLC
  42. Courtney Kucish of Edward Jones
  43. Dawn West of LPL Financial LLC
  44. Edward Bacher of LPL Financial LLC
  45. Eric Gibbs of Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC
  46. Gerald McGinley UBS Financial Services Inc.
  47. Gregory Kearney of LPL Financial LLC
  48. Jeffrey Hackbarth of Trilogy Capital, Inc.
  49. Jessica Mansavage formerly with Ameriprise Financial Services, LLC
  50. Kyle Cunningham of Northwestern Mutual Investment Services, LLC
  51. Mark Katz of Western International Securities, Inc.
  52. Myles Easter of Bankers Life Securities, Inc.
  53. Narith Long formerly with NYLIFE Securities LLC
  54. Steven Westerman of UBS Financial Services Inc.
  55. Thomas Swan of Western International Securities, Inc.
  56. William Penland, Jr. of Ameriprise Financial Services, LLC
  57. Andrew Brookman of Aegis Capital Corp
  58. Thomas Swan of Western International Securities
  59. Efrain Trujillo formerly with Western International Securities, Inc.
  60. Tek Wiegert of Northwestern Mutual Investment Services, LLC

If you have lost money investing with any of these Financial West Group 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 Financial West Group 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 Financial West Group 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. Financial West Group 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 Financial West Group without representation with an attorney about their complaints and have their complaints denied.

Related Read: Can You Sue Your Brokerage Firm?

Investment Losses? We Can Help

Discuss your legal options with an attorney at The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A.

Get A Free Consultation

or, give us a ring at (800) 732-2889.

Robert Pearce

Consult With An Attorney Who Recovers Investment Losses Caused By Financial West Group Today!

The investment loss 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 Financial West Group 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.

Author Photo

Robert Wayne Pearce

Robert Wayne Pearce of The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A. has been a trial attorney for more than 40 years and has helped recover over $170 million dollars for his clients. During that time, he developed a well-respected and highly accomplished legal career representing investors and brokers in disputes with one another and the government and industry regulators. To speak with Attorney Pearce, call (800) 732-2889 or Contact Us online for a FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION with Attorney Pearce about your case.

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