Founded in 1969, Royal Alliance Associates, Inc. (“Royal Alliance”) is a broker-dealer and registered investment adviser (RIA) headquartered in Jersey City, New Jersey. Royal Alliance is a subsidiary of Advisor Group, which is one of the largest networks of independent wealth management firms in the U.S. As of December 31, 2021, the firm had $129.9B in total client assets under administration and 2,706 financial professionals, with brokers licensed in all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
Financial Misconduct at Royal Alliance Associates, Inc.
Royal Alliance 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.
Royal Alliance and brokers backed by Royal Alliance have a long history of misconduct. Per FINRA’s BrokerCheck report, the firm has 84 disclosures (46 regulatory events; 31 arbitrations; and 7 bonds), as recently as January 2023.
In January 2023, Royal Alliance was censured and ordered to pay $234,831.92 plus interest, in restitution to customers. FINRA found that the firm failed to establish and maintain a supervisory system that was reasonably designed to ensure that all eligible customers received applicable sales charge waivers or special share classes in connection with rolling over 529 plans from one state plan to another. Specifically, the firm lacked any supervisory procedures to alert personnel of the potential availability of Class A sales charge waivers or Class AR shares for 529 plan rollovers.
The firm also failed to provide training to its representatives on this issue despite the fact that representatives were responsible for determining whether sales charge waivers or Class AR shares on 529 plans were available and were then responsible for completing the required forms in order to ensure that customers received those benefits. This resulted in the firm’s failure to apply sales charge waivers or purchase class AR shares in approximately 41% of all 529 plan rollover transactions. Customers ended up paying $235,000 in unnecessary sales charges and fees.
This comes shortly after Royal Alliance was fined by FINRA in December 2022 regarding sales of GPB Capital Holdings private placements. The firm failed to tell investors that GPB had not made required filings, which included audited financial statements.
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Meyer Wilson reclaimed $350 million for the victims of investment fraud or misconduct. Our attorneys are experienced in going up against the largest investment firms, such as Royal Alliance Associates, Inc., and our track record affirms our resources and expertise. Meyer Wilson has represented clients nationwide and internationally, in state and federal courts, and in securities arbitration. As an investor, you have a right to recover investments lost through unethical behavior or decisions made against your interests.