Thomas J. Buck, the money manager who was let go from Merrill Lynch (MER) earlier this year, is the subject of several investor complaints alleging misrepresentation, unauthorized trading, and other wrongdoing. The cases could impact his new position at RBC Wealth Management.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority says there have been five complaints against the high-profile broker, who was fired from Merrill Lynch after more than three decades with the broker-dealer. The firm cited “loss of confidence” and a number of compliance lapses as reasons for the termination.
One investor is claiming losses caused by allegedly excessive trading and unsuitable investment recommendations. The investor is asking for $125K in damages. Four other claims are still pending.
While at Merrill Lynch, Buck was one of the firm’s leading brokers. With about 500 clients with an average net worth of $10 million, resulting in $1.5 billion in client asserts under management, Buck was named Barron’s leading financial adviser in Indiana for five years in a row beginning in 2009.
In his U5 form, which is a regulatory filing that reveals why a broker was fired, Buck is accused of giving Merrill Lynch inaccurate information about one purported client interaction. He also is accused of misrepresenting whether one client asked to be able to buy a bond from another client. Financial Advisor magazine reported that Merrill Lynch let Buck go because of a number of charges that were made against him, including his alleged failure to talk about pricing and servicing options with a client.
Following his firing from Merrill, his daughter Ann, who was an adviser at the firm, stepped down.
Unfortunately, high net worth individuals are a favorite target for those seeking to make illegal gains from violations, negligence, and fraud. At the SSEK Partners Group, our securities fraud law firm is here to help investors recoup their losses.
High-profile broker Buck faces rash of complaints, Indianapolis Business Journal, June 9, 2015
Ex-Merrill Lynch Broker Tom Buck Joins RBC, Financial Advisor/Reuters, April 13, 2015