IIROC announced Tuesday that a hearing panel has accepted the settlement agreement reached between its staff and both Brian Douglas Bergen, branch manager of a Leede Financial Markets office in Calgary, and the dealer itself over failures to properly supervise former advisor Grant Patrick Matthews.
Back in January WP reported
that Matthews was slapped with a $200,000 fine by IIROC and banned for five years after recommending unsuitable investments to four clients who were either retired or approaching retirement and who lost between 8% and 28% on those investments.
Many of our readers believe that advisors are held accountable while the dealers and branch managers get off without as much as a tongue lashing from IIROC. This latest settlement agreement suggests that IIROC is prepared to mete out punishment further up the corporate structure.
Bergen, in his role as branch manager, has agreed to a $50,000 fine, a one-year suspension from acting in a supervisory capacity, to rewrite the Branch Manager’s Course should he want to return to his previous position, and the payment to IIROC of $2,500 in costs. Leede Financial Markets in its role as dealer has agreed to a $90,000 fine and $10,000 in costs payable to IIROC.
The interesting part of this particular situation is that Matthews was employed with Leede as a registered representative for 15 years before getting caught for various offenses including the churning of three clients’ accounts, one to the tune of 519 trades over an 18-month period.
So egregious was this trading that Matthews turned the assets in this particular client’s account 1400% over this same period – all under the eyes of both the dealer and the branch manager.