In April 2017, a former client of Morgan Stanley and RBC Capital Markets LLC won an award in a FINRA arbitration for compensatory damages between $100,000.00 and $499,999.00, plus interest, costs, expenses and disbursements, and other appropriate relief for losses sustained from an investment portfolio concentrated in Puerto Rico Bonds and other non-investment grade speculative commercial bonds and represented to claimant that the bonds were safe investments. The investors were clients of financial advisor Robert Dennison (CRD# 2674594). See the previous post on Dennison here.
Puerto Rico suffers from long-term financial and economic deficiencies that rendered its credit increasingly more speculative. The deterioration of Puerto Rico’s financial condition culminated in its debt being downgraded to junk status or speculative (below investment grade). For the past several years, Puerto Rico has been struggling with compounding debt and economic decline. As a result, the value of Puerto Rico’s municipal tax-free bonds has considerably fallen. Since September 2013, when the steep decline in Puerto Rico bond values began, investors holding these bonds have suffered massive losses. In May 2017, Puerto Rico filed for bankruptcy protection from creditors in what is being described as the largest municipal bankruptcy filing in history.
The causes of action included unsuitability, common law fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, negligent failure to supervise, and negligence. The FINRA arbitration hearing was conducted in Houston, Texas.
Dennison has been registered with Morgan Stanley in West Palm Beach, Florida since 2013. Dennison was formerly of RBC Capital Markets in West Palm Beach, Florida from 2009 to 2013, a majority of the time in which the allegations took place. Dennison has also been the subject of three customer complaints between 2015 and 2016, according to his CRD report:
- March 2016. “Claimants allege that from 2009 to 2015 the FA made unsuitable investment recommendations.” The client seeks $130,000 in damages.
- January 2016. “Claimants allege that from 2013 to 2015 the FA made unsuitable investment recommendations.” The client seeks $115,000 in damages.
- September 2015. “Claimant alleged, inter alia, that the recommendation Puerto Rico municipal bonds was unsuitable – August 2013 to July 2015.” The case was settled for $25,000.
Pursuant to FINRA Rules, member firms are responsible for supervising a broker’s activities during the time the broker is registered with the firm. Therefore, Morgan Stanley and RBC Capital Markets LLC may be liable for investment or other losses suffered by Dennison’s customers.
Erez Law represents investors in the United States for claims against Morgan Stanley and RBC Capital Markets LLC financial advisor Robert Dennison, who is alleged to overconcentrate investment portfolios in high risk Puerto Rico bonds. If you were a client of Morgan Stanley and RBC Capital Markets LLC or another firm, and have experienced investment losses, please call us at 888-840-1571 or complete our contact form for a free consultation. Erez Law is a nationally recognized law firm representing individuals, trusts, corporations and institutions in claims against brokerage firms, banks and insurance companies on a contingency fee basis.
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