October 10, 2013
We got 4-hour annuities training. We got 5-hour energy drinks. Alas . . . if only we could get the lazy jerks who need to take the 4-hour exams to take a 5-hour energy drink and stay awake long enough to study. Here is yet another indication that Wall Street may not be the highly trained and alert workplace you thought it was.
For the purpose of proposing a settlement of rule violations alleged by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority ("FINRA"), without admitting or denying the findings, prior to a regulatory hearing, and without an adjudication of any issue, Shawn Michael Wyatt submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent ("AWC"), which FINRA accepted. In the Matter of Shawn Michael Wyatt, Respondent (AWC 2012032428202, October 1, 2013).
Wyatt entered the securities industry in 2006 with Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. ("Ameriprise"), where he remained until his March 2012 termination. The AWC asserts that he had no prior relevant disciplinary history.
4 Hour Training
The State of Colorado requires registered representatives to complete a 4-hour training course prior to selling, soliciting or negotiating annuities. Among those subject to this state training prerequisite was Wyatt's supervisor. Sometime around October 6, 2011, the AWC asserts that "Wyatt agreed to take the required Colorado annuity training for TS, his supervisor." In furtherance of this plan, Wyatt logged onto www.webce.com as the supervisor and took the course. In exchange for this subterfuge, the AWC asserts that the supervisor TS paid Wyatt for taking the training.
Online FINRA records as of October 11, 2013, indicate that Ameriprise discharged Wyatt on March 5, 2012, based upon allegations that the
THE ASSOCIATED PERSON WAS TERMINATED FOR VIOLATING THE AMERIPRISE CODE OF CONDUCT
Deeming the training impersonation as a failure to adhere FINRA Rule 2010's proscription of adhering to the "high standards of commercial honor and just and equitable principles of trade," the self-regulatory organization imposed upon Wyatt a $5,000 fine and a 31-calendar-day suspension from association with any FINRA broker-dealer in any capacity.
Bill Singer's Comment (the double entendre version)
My oh my . . . if only we knew how, if only we had some way to break FINRA's intricate code so as to determine the identity of TS. Sadly, the self-regulatory organization does not offer us a link in the Wyatt AWC to any other regulatory case involving the mysterious TS. Hidden from the prying and curious eyes of the investing public and the industry is the identity of the unknown supervisor. Yes, I am aware of the double entendre with the initials TS. Get your mind out of the gutter.
For the purpose of proposing a settlement of rule violations alleged by FINRA, without admitting or denying the findings, prior to a regulatory hearing, and without an adjudication of any issue, Trudy Ann Swint submitted an AWC, which FINRA accepted. In the Matter of Trudy Ann Swint, Respondent (AWC 20120324282, October 2, 2013).
Swint entered the securities industry in 1989 and during the times relevant to this matter, she operated an Ameriprise franchise as an independent contractor. The AWC asserts that she had no relevant disciplinary history.
Around October 6, 2011, the AWC alleges that Swint "permitted an Ameriprise associate financial advisor, SW, to take the required Colorado annuity training for her. . ." in violation of FINRA Rule 2010. The AWC further alleges that Swint compensated SW for taking the training.
Online FINRA records as of October 11, 2013, indicate that on April 5, 2012, Ameriprise permitted Swint to resign based upon allegations that:
ADVISOR WAS PERMITTED TO RESIGN FOLLOWING FIRM FINDING OF COMPANY POLICY VIOLATIONS RELATED TO DISCRETION AND ACTING ETHICALLY IN COMPLETION OF CONTINUING EDUCATION TRAINING.
In accordance with the terms of the AWC, FINRA imposed upon Swint a $5,000 fine and 60-day suspension from association with any FINRA broker-dealer in any capacity.
Bill Singer's Comment (the snarky code-breaking version)
Lemme see if I understand this.
On or about October 6, 2011, FINRA alleges that Shawn Michael Wyatt (howasabout we call him "SW") improperly took a training course for supervisor TS. If only there were some way to break that impenetrable FINRA code and figure out who was behind the initials "TS."
By chance, I happen to read every single FINRA disciplinary and arbitration case. It's a lonely and admittedly sad life that I have chosen but it is a sacrifice for mankind that I have taken upon my shoulders in my unending fight for world peace and justice. No sooner had I written up the Wyatt AWC for my BrokeAndBroker Blog readers then, lo and behold, I stumbled -- stumbled I say! -- across the Swint AWC.
On or about October 6, 2011, FINRA alleges that Trudy Ann Swint (howsabout we call her "TS") improperly paid associate financial advisor SW to take a CE course for her. If only there were some way to break that impentrable FINRA code and figure out who was behind the initials "SW."
My compliments to the good folks at FINRA for keeping the important secrets and preserving the confidences of the many firms and folks that the self-regulatory organization regulates. Clearly, there is a very, very, very compelling explanation for why a regulator would publish two separate AWCs alleging related misconduct by both a "TS" and an "SW" but not cross reference either of those initialed parties in the other respondent's case. The logic of that exercise in non-disclosure sort of escapes me but, hey, you FINRA folks always seem to have a handy explanation for a lot of stuff that I often see as silliness. I'm sure that you will easily roll out yet another such bit of regulatory circumlocution.