J.W. Cole Financial, Inc. (“J.W. Cole Financial”) (CRD# 124583) has been the subject of FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) investigation and numerous customer complaints. At the Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, we have investigated J.W. Cole Financial, its regulatory and customer complaints, and have also been contacted by 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 J.W. Cole Financial , 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 J.W. Cole Financial, Inc.?
If you’ve lost money caused by J.W. Cole Financial and/or its employees’ misconduct then the answer is, YES, you can sue J.W. Cole 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 J.W. Cole Financial in FINRA arbitration proceedings, but WIN that arbitration. The easiest way to know if you have a viable case against J.W. Cole Financial is to call Attorney Pearce at our office at 800-732-2889.
What is J.W. Cole Financial, Inc.?
J.W. Cole (CRD# 124583) has been registered with the SEC and FINRA as a securities broker-dealer since 1993. The company is headquartered in Tampa, Florida. 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 275 J.W. Cole branch offices with over 500 registered representatives in almost every state. It is now one of the 50 largest independent broker-dealer and investment advisory firms in the United States.
A BRIEF OVERVIEW OF ONE REGULATORY PROBLEM J.W. COLE FINANCIAL, INC. HAS RECENTLY FACED*
FINRA investigated and found that between May 2017 and December 2017, J.W. Cole Financial failed to reasonably supervise representatives’ recommendations of an alternative mutual fund—the LJM Preservation & Growth Fund (LJM).1 J.W. Cole Financial permitted the sale of LJM on its platform without conducting reasonable due diligence and without a sufficient understanding of its risks and features, including the fact that the fund pursued a risky strategy that relied, in part, on purchasing uncovered options. J.W. Cole Financial also lacked a reasonable supervisory system to review representatives’ LJM recommendations. The firm’s representatives sold approximately $1 million in LJM to customers. LJM’s value dropped 80% during an extreme volatility event in February 2018 and the fund ultimately liquidated and closed, resulting in thousands of dollars in losses for J.W. Cole Financial’s customers. By virtue of the foregoing, J.W. Cole Financial violated FINRA Rules 3110 and 2010 for which it was censured, fined $50,000, and ordered to pay restitution of over $163,000.
J.W. Cole Financial Customer Complaints
There have been scores of customer complaints filed against J.W. Cole Financial stockbrokers and investment advisors over the years. We have launched many investigations of current and former J.W. Cole Financial advisors:
- Jason Valavanis of J.W. Cole Financial, Inc.
- Mark Scordato of J.W. Cole Financial
- Keith Glaser of J.W. Cole Financial
- Jason Valavanis of J.W. Cole Financial
- Ryan Newton of J.W. Cole Financial
- Wesley Reed of J.W. Cole Financial
- Leslie Baker of J.W. Cole Financial
- Martha Grimshaw-Killian of J.W. Cole Financial
- Eric Nordberg of J.W. Cole Financial
- Cameron Karg of J.W. Cole Financial, Inc.
- Curtis Yourkievitz of J.W. Cole Financial, Inc.
- Desmond Clark formerly with J.W. Cole Financial, Inc.
- Donna Dupre of J.W. Cole Financial, Inc.
- Elizabeth Belisle of J.W. Cole Financial, Inc.
- Harry Toro of J.W. Cole Financial, Inc.
- John Michalak of J.W. Cole Financial, Inc.
- Karen Vaught of J.W. Cole Financial, Inc.
- Kevin Ford of J.W. Cole Financial, Inc.
- Robert Schlager of J.W. Cole Financial Inc.
- Ronald Hoyle of J.W. Cole Financial, Inc.
- Scott Smith formerly with J.W. Cole Financial, Inc.
- Jacob Cazier formerly with J.W. Cole Financial, Inc.
- Jason Kimber of J.W. Cole Financial, Inc.
If you have lost money investing with any of these J.W. Cole Financial 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 Do Independent Broker-Dealers 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 J.W. Cole Financial, 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. J.W. Cole Financial 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 J.W. Cole Financial without representation with an attorney about their complaints and have their complaints denied.
Related Read: Can You Sue Your Brokerage Firm?
Consult With An Attorney Who Recovers Investment Losses Caused By J.W. Cole Financial, Inc. Today!
The securities lawyers 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 J.W. Cole Financial 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.