Piper Jaffray is a middle-market investment banking firm. The firm joined the New York Stock Exchange in 1929, became publicly held in 1971, and in 1986 common stock of Piper Jaffray began trading on NASDAQ under the symbol PIPR. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Piper Jaffray now has 33 offices with nearly 1,000 employees. In 2003, it became an independent company following its spin-off from U.S. Bancorp. (NYSE: PJC).
While Piper Jaffray has managed to avoid having too many large disciplinary actions taken against it by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), it unfortunately has an extensive history of small fines that have been issued in the last decade. Whether this is a result of better investigation by FINRA or lax leadership at Piper Jaffray is unknown – either way, it does not bode well for investors. In the last 5 years alone, FINRA has issued 6 fines against PJ & Co. totaling $790,000. One of those fines was $700,000 for continuous and massive losses of emails that may have obstructed a FINRA investigation while reducing transparency at the firm.
The loss of email communications means that the firm has millions of emails in thousands of conversations that are no longer able to be monitored by Piper Jaffray, FINRA, the SEC, or any regulatory authority. That creates massive holes in the ability to keep Piper Jaffray accountable for its actions and the actions of its brokers. Potential investors may see this as a red flag.
As a FINRA-licensed brokerage firm, Piper Jaffray & Company is legally obligated to oversee the actions of every single one of its representatives to ensure ethical, competent trading. Ideally, monitoring brokers carefully would allow firms to catch fraudulent or negligent actions early, sparing investors any losses. However, in the event that a Piper Jaffray representative trades in such a way that is unethical, dishonest, or illegal and causes an investor significant losses, FINRA laws allow investors to hold the firm legally liable to pay back any damages caused. Under financial regulatory rules, investment firms have the responsibility to rebuild your assets for you if you have lost them wrongly on their watch.
Though FINRA allows you to recover your losses back from Piper Jaffray in the event of fraudulent trading, their primary duty is to police financial institutions, not provide fraud victims with restitution. That’s where Meyer Wilson can step in. Our experienced investment fraud lawyers have the extensive resources and skills to combat financial giants like Piper Jaffray on your behalf. We make sure your voice is heard, even in the midst of complex, highly-publicized disciplinary and criminal trials. We can conduct claims against Piper Jaffray and firms like them in state and federal court nationwide, as well as in private arbitration through FINRA and the American Arbitration Association, or AAA. No matter how well-established the firm, our lawyers can help.