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TIAA-CREF Individual & Institutional Services, LLC (“TIAA-CREF”) (CRD#20472) 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 TIAA-CREF, 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 TIAA-CREF, 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 TIAA-CREF?

If you’ve lost money caused by TIAA-CREF and/or its employees’ misconduct then the answer is, YES, you can sue TIAA-CREF 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 TIAA-CREF in FINRA arbitration proceedings but WIN that arbitration. The easiest way to know if you have a viable case against TIAA-CREF 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 TIAA-CREF?

TIAA-CREF (CRD#20472) 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, TIAA-CREF 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.

TIAA-CREF Has Many Different Regulatory Problems 

TIAA-CREF’s rapid growth has not been without consequences. There have been approximately 5 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 TIAA-CREF 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. TIAA-CREF is a repeat offender: there are over 4 SEC and FINRA-reported disciplinary proceedings citing the firm with one form of supervisory lapses or another.

A Brief Overview of Some of the Regulatory Problems TIAA-CREF Has Faced Over the Years*

TIAA-CREF 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 SEC and FINRA Sanctions for its Supervisory Failures are below:

SEC and NYS Attorney General Order TIAA-CREF To Pay $93 Million

Brief Overview: In 2021, the SEC in conjunction with the NYS Attorney’s General’s office found that the firm failed to adequately disclose conflicts of interest and disseminated inaccurate and misleading statements in connection with recommendations that clients invest in TIAA-CREF employer-sponsored retirement plans and roll over retirement assets into a managed account program called “portfolio advisor.” TIAA-CREF in a conflict of interest because the Portfolio Advisor program generated greater revenue than other available alternatives. The brokerage firm created positive incentives and negative pressures for its wealth management advisors to prioritize a rollover of assets into the Portfolio Advisor program over lower-cost alternatives for participants who were receiving advisory services as part of the financial planning process the firm offered to the public. As a result, TIAA-CREF was ordered to pay disgorgement of approximately $74 million, prejudgment interest of $14 million and a civil monetary penalty of $9 million.

SEC Orders TIAA-CREF To Pay Over $2.3 Million For Mutual Fund Sales

Brief Overview: Two years earlier, the SEC’s sanctioned TIAA-CREF for breaches of fiduciary duty and inadequate disclosures in connection with its mutual fund share class selection practices and the fees it received. At various times during the relevant period, the SEC found that the brokerage purchased, recommended, or held for advisory clients’ mutual fund share classes that charged 12B-1 fees and set of lower-cost share classes of the same funds which these clients were eligible. As a result, the SEC ordered the brokerage to cease-and-desist in committing or causing any future violations of the investment advisers act of 1940. It was censured and ordered to pay disgorgement of over $2 million with prejudgment interest of almost $300,000.

FINRA Sanctions TIAA-CREF For Not Sending Millions Of Confirmations

Brief Overview: In 2016, TIAA-CREF self-reported its failure to deliver millions of confirmations of transactions immediately after they were executed. The brokerage was censured and fined $275,000 for its errors.


*Above are only some of the regulatory disciplinary actions filed against TIAA-CREF by FINRA. NASSA and other state securities regulator investigations and enforcement actions account for 2 more BrokerCheck disclosures.

TIAA-CREF Customer Complaints

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

  1. Ayad Amary of TIAA-CREF Individual & Institutional Services, LLC
  2. Timothy Salunga of TIAA-CREF Individual & Institutional Services
  3. Eric Tharp of TIAA-CREF Individual & Institutional Services
  4. Kunal Vyas of TIAA-CREF Individual & Institutional Services
  5. Alicia Huburn of TIAA-CREF Individual & Institutional Services
  6. Gregg Hoff of TIAA-CREF Individual & Institutional Services
  7. Kevin Lao Formerly With TIAA-CREF Individual & Institutional Services
  8. Kevin Millard formerly with TIAA-CREF Individual & Institutional Services
  9. Terry Montoya of TIAA-CREF Individual & Institutional Services
  10. Antoinette Lucas of TIAA-CREF Individual & Institutional Services
  11. Brady Nance of TIAA-CREF Individual & Institutional Services
  12. Scott Mickey of TIAA-CREF Individual & Institutional Services
  13. Christopher Tolman of TIAA-CREF Individual & Institutional Services, LLC
  14. David Ratzker of TIAA-CREF Individual & Institutional Services, LLC
  15. David Anderson formerly with TIAA-CREF Individual & Institutional Services
  16. Denise Stuart of TIAA-CREF Individual & Institutional Services, LLC
  17. Don Henry formerly with TIAA-CREF Individual & Institutional Services, LLC
  18. Jeremiah Korth formerly with TIAA-CREF Individual & Institutional Services, LLC
  19. Lutelles White of TIAA-CREF Individual & Institutional Services, LLC
  20. Mark Alford of TIAA-CREF Individual & Institutional Services, LLC
  21. Michael DiPenta of TIAA-CREF Individual & Institutional Services, LLC
  22. Nicholas Wasielewski of TIAA-CREF Individual & Institutional Services, LLC
  23. Preston Rainer formerly with TIAA-CREF Individual & Institutional Services, LLC
  24. Robert McConnell formerly with TIAA-CREF Individual & Institutional Services, LLC
  25. Ryan Smith of TIAA-CREF Individual and Institutional Services, LLC

If you have lost money investing with any of these TIAA-CREF 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 TIAA-CREF 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 TIAA-CREF 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. TIAA-CREF 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 TIAA-CREF 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 TIAA-CREF 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 TIAA-CREF 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.

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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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