Stifel Nicolaus is a full-service brokerage firm that provides securities brokerage, investment banking, trading, investment advisory services, and related financial services to individuals, professional money managers, businesses, and municipalities. Founded in 1890, Stifel Nicolaus is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Stifel Financial Corp and a member of the New York Stock Exchange. In 2009, Stifel Nicolas acquired 56 offices from UBS Financial Services, Inc. With its global headquarters located in St. Louis, Missouri, Stifel Nicolaus now has over 1,800 financial advisors located in 272 branch offices throughout the United States.
According to regulations set by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Stifel Nicolaus & Company is wholly responsible for overseeing each of their 1,800 representatives by providing systems of supervision. These systems should be designed to prevent unethical or negligent actions by the firm’s brokers. If a Stifel Nicolaus broker causes significant losses for an investor because of violations, negligence, or recommendations counter to the investor’s interests, Stifel Nicolaus can be held legally liable to repay the damages caused by their broker.
Within the last 10 years, Stifel Nicolaus & Company has been the subject of a large number of disciplinary or regulatory actions. Most of the 105 regulatory actions were the result of customer complaints about brokers, which alone is a red flag for potential investors. Below are some of the recent actions taken against Stifel Nicolaus and their representatives.
As recently as June 2015, Stifel Nicolaus was fined for inaccurate trade reporting. Sloppy recordkeeping can at best be a result of incompetence and apathetic supervision, and at worst a sign of dishonest trading. This high level of regulatory activity in the last three years is deeply unusual, and may speak to a larger problem within the century-old firm.
In early 2014, the historic investment firm paid nearly half a million to clients who suffered losses because they were sold products that brokers at Stifel Nicolaus had not sufficiently researched. Brokers are legally required to only sell products and investments that they have thoroughly investigated. Lack of investigation can cause a great deal of loss to investors, deteriorate trust between brokers and clients, and can reveal a culture of dishonest research.
FINRA fined the firm $300,000 for selling high-risk penny stocks to clients, of which 27 were later suspended by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Stifel Nicolaus reportedly made over $300 million from the sales while exposing investors to incredible, preventable risk due to their lack of anti-laundering measures.
If you trade through Stifel Nicolaus & Company, it is highly likely that you have suffered preventable losses as a result of their loosening standards. Meyer Wilson investment lawyers fight for the victims of fraud and negligence. Our firm recovered $350 million for our clients, and our work will continue with equal dedication and aggression. Let our attorneys help you hold large investment firms responsible for their actions. We practice nationwide in state and federal court, as well as in arbitration with FINRA and the American Arbitration Association.