Advanced Equities Ordered by FINRA Arbitration Panel to Pay $4.5M to Ex-Broker

A Financial Industry Regulatory Authority arbitration panel has ordered Advanced Equities, CEO Dwight Badger, and Chairman Keith Daubenspeck to pay one of their former brokers $4.5 million in compensatory damages. The ex-broker, John Galinsky, had accused all three of them of not paying certain commissions on his work to raise capital for clients, such as Alien Technology, Bloom Energy, Arbinet (ARBX), ForceIO Networks, Infinera, (INFN), Motricity (MOTR), and Peregrine Semiconductor (PSMI). He also made claims of unjust enrichment, breach of contract, retaliatory discharge, and fraudulent inducement. Daubenspeck and Badger cofounded Advanced Equities.

The FINRA arbitration panel awarded Galinksy $3.47 million in actual damages, $347,000 in interest, $211,314 in other costs related to trial, and $500,000 in punitive damages-the last due to the investment banking boutique showing a “reckless disregard” for the broker’s warrant rights while breaching its fiduciary duties to him. Additionally, Advanced Equities must pay FINRA $61,650 in session fees. (There were 51 pre-hearing and hearing sessions took place between June 2010 and April 2012, which is after Galinsky went to arbitrators.)

Advanced Equities is a Chicago-based investment firm. It makes late-stage venture capital investments in tech companies. Just last January, the Securities and Exchange Commission sent Wells notices to Badger and Daubenspeck letting them know they could face federal enforcement action over a 2009 private offering.

Galinsky worked for Advanced Equities’ retail broker unit for 10 years. He now works with National Securities Corporation.

Brokers With Arbitration Claims Against Financial Firms

“In 1972, financial firms instituted mandatory arbitration to resolve disputes between financial firms and disputes between those firms and their representatives. During the 1980’s mandatory arbitration agreements with clients of securities firms were enforced by the courts,” said FINRA Arbitration Attorney William Shepherd. “Today, while the vast majority of securities arbitration actions are between investors and firms, each year hundreds of disputes between securities firms, and between those firms and their brokers, are also resolved in arbitration.”

Among such cases, was the claim brought by Patrick M. Mendenhall against UBS Financial Securities. Last year, a FINRA arbitration panel ordered the financial firm to pay its former broker $350,000 in compensatory damages and 6% interest until the amount was paid. Mendenhall, a former UBS broker, had sought resolution over allegedly unpaid deferred compensation and unused vacation time

Ex-Advanced Equities Broker Gets $4.5 Million IOU, Wealth Management, June 3, 2012

FINRA panel orders Advanced Equities to pay $4.5 mln, Reuters, May 21, 2012
Former UBS Broker Sues Firm For $3.8 Million in Deferred Comp and Unused Vacation Time, Forbes, November 28, 2011

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In addition to representing investors in arbitration who seek recovery of losses caused by wrongdoing at investment firms, our securities law firm has also represented numerous registered securities persons who are involved in disputes with securities firms. “Awards for millions of dollars to investment representatives are not uncommon in securities arbitration,” said FINRA Securities Lawyer William Shepherd.

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