Articles Posted in Sanders Mundy Harris Group

SMH Capital has agreed to pay $450,000 in fines to settle charges by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) over the broker dealer’s failure to have supervisory procedures and systems in place to handle its prime brokerage and soft dollar services to hedge funds. The oversight led to a hedge fund manager receiving improper payments in soft dollars worth $325,000.

FINRA says other failures by SMH included producing and giving out hedge fund sales materials that failed to properly “disclose material investment risks to potential hedge fund investors.” SRO is accusing SMH of engaging in an “improper compensation arrangement” with two brokers who supervised hedge funds.

The two SMH brokers, Michael Rosen and Jack Seibal, have agreed to $100,000 fines and a 20-day suspension. SRO says that agreements prohibited the two men from receiving a share of any commission that SMH earned for fund trades. A third unregistered SMH employee agreed to a 10-day suspension and a $15,000 penalty.

Apparently unscathed by scandals at his former firms, 67 year old George Ball serves as Chairman of Sanders Morris Harris Group, Inc., a Houston based investment bank and wealth management firm.

Ball served as the No. 2 executive at E.F. Hutton & Co. Inc. from 1980 to 1982. Three years after he left, the now-defunct New York firm pleaded guilty to 2,000 counts of mail and wire fraud in a check-kiting scheme that occurred during Ball’s tenure.

Ball left Hutton to become chairman of Prudential Bache Securities. That firm thereafter became involved with what some have called “the biggest swindle in Wall Street History.” Regulators charged the company with defrauding hundreds of thousands of customers by misstating risks involved in investment partnerships. Prudential paid restitution and penalties totaling $2 billion – the costliest settlement ever for a brokerage firm – and was forced to resolve thousands of civil claims by investors for its role in these investments.