Raymond James Financial Services has paid the $1.79M Dallas securities arbitration award plus interest it owes to Hurshel Tyler and the estate of his wife Mildred. They filed their claim with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Both were in their 80’s.
They contend that they were advised by an ex-Raymond James representative to take their $3.5M in bond funds and place them in variable life insurance and variable annuities. Unfortunately, the life insurance policy was tied to $2M in improper loans, interest obligations, and ongoing tax that made it difficult to return the financial product to the brokerage firm. Tyler and Mildred’s estate claim that the stockbroker, Daul Davis, made a recommendation to them that was unsuitable.
Davis not only advised the Tylers to liquidate their municipal bond portfolio and make the new investments, but also, unknown to the couple, he moved them from one variable annuity to another, which cost them a significant surrender fee and commission. The Tylers’ Texas stockbroker lawyer says that by making the couple’s son the new annuity’s annuitant, the financial firm and Davis earned over twice the commission than if Hurshel Tyler had been the annuitant. (Usually, the annuitant and annuity owner are the same person. However, the insurance company that was involved only offered a 3.25% commission for annuitants over 80 years of age, while the commission for someone younger than that was 7.5%)
A FINRA arbitration panel sided with Tylers. The couple had sought to recoup their money, but instead panel members instead awarded them with compensatory damages.
Raymond James went on to appeal that decision. The broker-dealer argued that the couple should have given the annuities back. They also contended that they shouldn’t have to pay the couple’s $250K in legal fees because Florida, which is where the financial firm is based, doesn’t allow for this type of award.
Although Raymond James has gone ahead and paid the arbitration award, the broker-dealer maintains that the payment is unjust. The financial firms claims that not only did the couple make over $800,000 while the accounts were under its watch, but also, any losses they sustained occurred after they moved the accounts to a different broker-dealer. Raymond James says that despite disagreeing with the FINRA panel’s ruling, it has gone ahead and paid what it considers an “erroneous award” because in the long run doing so now would be less costly than continuing to contest it.
This Texas securities arbitration award is the largest one that Raymond James has ever had to pay.
Raymond James Pays Highest Arbitration Award in History, LifeHealthPro, November 30, 2011
After appeal fails, RJ forks over $1.8M to 87-year-old client, Investment News, November 30, 2011
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