The former Merrill Lynch financial advisor charged with criminal trespass and other counts following an incident at a Connecticut smoothie shop that went viral has ended up with Aegis Capital.
James Iannazzo, of Fairfield, Connecticut, was charged with second-degree breach of peace and intimidation based on bigotry or bias after a January 22 confrontation at a Fairfield branch of Robeks in which he is recorded yelling at staff after they allegedly sold him a smoothie containing peanuts that caused his son to suffer a severe allergic reaction.
In the video, Iannazzo calls employees “f*****g ignorant high school kids” as well as a “f****g bitch” and a “f*****g immigrant loser” and then throws a smoothie at one of the employees, as reported.
Iannazzo had been registered as a broker and advisor with Merrill since 1996. The wirehouse terminated his employment within two days after the incident went viral, saying it doesn’t “tolerate behavior of this kind.”
Iannazzo’s official registration with Merrill, however, ended on February 23, according to BrokerCheck.
But as of March 15, Iannazzo was registered with Aegis in Westport, Connecticut, according to his record.
Last month, Iannazzo was also suspended by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards in connection with the smoothie shop incident, as reported.
FA-IQ reached out to Aegis about Iannazzo's addition to the firm and how his charges factored into his employment screening, but didn't receive a reply as of this writing. FA-IQ could not reach Iannazzo for comment.
A firing over an allegedly racist rant could lead to employment challenges, but it’s not necessarily the end of the road, according to Louis Diamond, president of the recruiting firm Diamond Consultants.
“What normally happens is an advisor will need to be flexible with the types of firms they will consider and often times it means hanging one’s own shingle as an Investment Advisor Representative of an RIA or by registering as an independent with a broker-dealer,” Diamond previously told FA-IQ.
— With additional reporting from Rita Raagas De Ramos
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