Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc. Securities Attorney

The securities attorneys of Gana LLP focus their practice on client disputes with their brokerage firms, such as Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc. (Merrill Lynch). Our practice focuses on investigating claims of brokerage and investment advisory misconduct including securities fraud, unsuitable investment advice, breach of fiduciary duty, and failure to supervise.

Merrill Lynch is affiliated with, under common control, or otherwise performs business under the company names Bank of America, Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc., Blackrock Investment Management, LLC, Merrill Lynch Global Securities Financing, and Merrill Lynch Investment Managers.

Merrill Lynch Wealth Management is the wealth management division for Bank of America and is located in New York City. Prior to 2009, Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc. was publicly owned and traded company. In September 2008, Merrill Lynch & Co. agreed to be acquired by Bank of America.

Merrill Lynch – By the Numbers:

  • CRD# 7691
  • SEC# 8-7221
  • 460 Regulatory Events
  • 996 Customer Complaints
  • Revenue: $13.8 billion – 2012
  • Assets Under Management: $2.2 trillion
  • Representatives: 15,100

Merrill Lynch – In the News:

FINRA v. Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Inc., AWC No. 2008014187701 – The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) fined Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Inc. $2.8 million over allegations that the firm overcharged customers $32 million in unwarranted fees. Merrill Lynch provided $32 million in restitution to the affected customers. FINRA also found that from April 2003, to December 2011, Merrill Lynch failed to have an adequate supervisory system to ensure that customers in certain investment advisory programs were billed in accordance with contract and disclosure documents. As a result of the alleged failures, the firm overcharged nearly 95,000 customer accounts fees of more than $32 million.

In the Matter of Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Inc., Respondent, SEC Release No. 9493 – The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) fined Merrill Lynch over allegations of faulty disclosures about collateral selection for two collateralized debt obligations (CDO) that it marketed to investors and maintaining inaccurate books and records for a third CDO. Merrill Lynch paid $131.8 million to settle the SEC’s charges. The SEC’s order finds that Merrill Lynch failed to inform investors that hedge fund firm Magnetar Capital LLC exercised influence over the selection of collateral for the CDOs.

FINRA v. Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Inc., AWC No. 2008012808201 – FINRA fined Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC $4.5 million and Merrill Lynch $3 million for misrepresenting delinquency data and supervision failures in the issuance of residential subprime mortgage securitizations (RMBS). Issuers of subprime RMBS are required to disclose historical performance information. FINRA found that Merrill Lynch negligently misrepresented the historical delinquency rates for 61 subprime RMBS it underwrote and sold. In June 2007, according to FINRA, Merrill Lynch recalculated the information and posted the corrected historical delinquency rates on its website.

Our firm has represented customers in hundreds of securities disputes against brokerage firms that have taken unfair advantage of their clients. Our attorneys can help you detect and uncover suspicious activity in your accounts. Our consultations are free and we welcome all inquiries.

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