FINRA Form U5 Expungement Award:
Advisor Expunges Termination & Internal Review Disclosures
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Award Date: March 3, 2022
Hearing Site: San Francisco, California
Respondent Firm: GCA Advisors, LLC
Claimant Representative: Michelle Atlas-Quinn, J.D.
This advisor had a Form U5 termination disclosure on his records from nearly seven years prior. He hired us to represent him in FINRA arbitration in an effort to get the disclosure expunged.
The advisor had joined the firm in 2012, working exclusively with institutional investors. During his time with the firm, he did not receive adequate training on firm policies, and firm management never trained him on compliance.
Over the course of about two and a half years, the advisor sent marketing emails to prospective clients. The emails mentioned investment banking deals with which the advisor had previously been involved. While some of the deals mentioned had been completed by the firm, others had been completed while the advisor was with a previous firm. However, the emails inadvertently read as though all of the deals had been completed with the current firm. Firm management was copied on and aware of all of the emails.
In 2015, the advisor was terminated by the firm. The allegations published to his records stated that he had sent out marketing materials to prospective clients that did not adhere to the firm’s guidelines.
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After filing for FINRA arbitration, the respondent firm initially filed an answer denying the advisor’s claim and asserting various defenses. However, our team was able to resolve the issues with the firm prior to the arbitration hearing. Without admitting liability on its own part, the firm agreed not to oppose the advisor’s effort to have the disclosure expunged.
The respondent firm attended the hearing and asserted no opposition, as stipulated prior to the hearing. The Arbitrator reviewed the exhibits presented, listened to the advisor’s testimony, and heard the arguments presented by Michell Atlas-Quinn, J.D.
Within one week following the hearing, the Arbitrator issued an award recommending that the reason for termination on the advisor’s records be changed from “Discharged” to “Voluntary” and that the negative termination and corresponding internal review disclosures be expunged from the arbitrator’s public records.
With no other disclosures tainting his records, this advisor will soon have perfect CRD and BrokerCheck records, once again.
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