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Half the FAs Fired for Misconduct are Rehired in a Year

March 2, 2016

Getting fired over misconduct doesn’t necessarily mean an advisor’s career is over — in fact, almost half of them are back and advising clients within a year of termination, according to a study cited by WealthManagement.com.

Researchers at the University of Chicago also found that almost 8% of the 650,000 advisors registered with Finra have a disclosure event on their record, including regulatory judgments, employment separations and civil and criminal judgments, the web publication writes.

Over a third are repeat offenders, according to the study.

Firm culture — which Finra has put on its list of exam priorities for 2016, as reported earlier — may have a lot to do with misconduct, WealthManagement.com writes.

Advisors with a history of misconduct are five times more likely to do something unethical again and advisors at firms whose top brass have a record of misconduct are twice as likely to behave unethically, the researchers found.

And while firms do fire about half of the advisors following misconduct, the proportion of advisors with a record of misconduct varies widely among firms, according to the study.

“Our findings suggest that some firms specialize in misconduct and cater to unsophisticated consumers, while others use their reputation to attract sophisticated consumers,” the researchers write.

More than one in seven advisors at Oppenheimer & Co., Wells Fargo Advisors and First Allied Securities have a history of misconduct, but that number is less than one in a hundred advisors at Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, according to the study.

By Alex Padalka
  • To read the WealthManagement.com article cited in this story, click here.