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Equity Services, Inc.

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Equity Services, Inc.

Founded in 1968 and headquartered in Montpelier, Vermont, Equity Service, Inc. (“ESI”) is a broker/dealer and registered investment adviser affiliate of a mutual life insurance company, National Life Insurance Company. It operates as Vermont Equity Services in Colorado, Missouri, New Hampshire, and Wisconsin. The firm is currently run by Mehran Assadi, Lance Alan Reihl, and Andrew Robert Speirs. ESI has licenses in all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia. 

Financial Misconduct at Equity Services, Inc. 

ESI is licensed by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), and as such is legally obligated to ensure its brokers are acting lawfully in the interest of their investors. If a client suffers losses as a result of negligent behavior or misconduct from a broker, then the firm may be held legally responsible to repay the damages. 

ESI and brokers backed by ESI have a long history of misconduct and complaints, as evidenced in FINRA’s BrokerCheck Report.  

In May 2007, FINRA (formerly called the National Association of Securities Dealers or NASD) initiated an action against ESI. FINRA alleged the following: 

  1. ESI-associated individuals received improper non-cash compensation from Beneficial Life Insurance Company;
  2. ESI failed to maintain adequate records of non-cash compensation from other offerors;  
  3. The associated individuals received improper non-cash compensation from National Life Insurance Company; 
  4. ESI’s supervisory system and written policies and procedures surrounding non-cash compensation were inadequate; and  
  5. ESI violated e-mail retention requirements.  

The firm was censured and fined $350,000. 

In March 2012, FINRA initiated an action against ESI, alleging that the firm failed to establish and maintain a supervisory system and written supervisory procedures reasonably designed to achieve compliance with FINRA rules and federal securities laws. While ESI required its registered representatives to maintain antivirus software on their computers, the firm failed to adopt written policies and procedures that would ensure compliance with such. In December 2012 ESI was fined $20,000. 

In September 2019, the SEC required ESI to pay disgorgement of $535,240.67 and prejudgment interest of $51,777.05 for breaches of fiduciary duty and inadequate disclosures in connecting with its mutual fund share class selection practices and fees received. From January 1, 2014 to July 7, 2017, ESI recommended or held mutual fund share classes that charged clients 12B-1 fees rather than the lower-cost share classes of the same funds that the clients were eligible for.   

You May Have a Claim. Contact Our Firm Now! 

As an investor, you may have a right to recover investments lost through unethical behavior or decisions made against your best interests. Meyer Wilson reclaimed $350 million for the victims of investment fraud or misconduct. Our attorneys are experienced in going up against large investment firms, and our track record affirms our resources and expertise. Meyer Wilson has represented clients nationwide and internationally, in state and federal courts, and in arbitration.   

If you believe that you have been the victim of investment fraud or have been recommended unsuitable investments, you may have options. Call Meyer Wilson today!

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