Erez Law is currently investigating former Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated broker Rowad Alame (CRD# 5376696) regarding selling away. Alame was registered with Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated in Raleigh, North Carolina from 2016 to 2019, when he was terminated regarding, “Conduct involving completing an account-related document, signed by clients, in an effort to service the clients’ account and failing to be forthcoming with the Firm’s review of the matter.”
Selling away is the sale of unapproved outside investments by the affiliated brokerage firm.
In January 2021, FINRA suspended Alame for six months and sanctioned him to pay a $5,000 civil and administrative penalty as well as $2,700 in disgorgement after he, “consented to the sanctions and to the entry of findings that, while associated with a member firm, he participated in private securities transactions involving management of a customer’s securities account held at another firm, without providing notice to his firm. The findings stated that Alame recommended that his customer open a brokerage account at another member firm. Alame then recommended and executed 36 transactions in options securities in the customer’s outside account, including $578,246 in options purchases. The customer paid Alame at least $2,700 in compensation for his purchase and sale activity in the outside account, which resulted in $107,195 in realized losses. Alame’s firm has reimbursed the customer for these losses. Alame did not provide written notice to his firm, or obtain the firm’s approval, prior to participating in these private securities transactions in the outside account. Additionally, Alame falsely certified in response to his firm’s compliance questionnaire that within the last twelve months he had not been paid by any client for business conducted outside of the firm, had not been given access to or knowledge of any client’s passwords to log into a brokerage account, and did not participate in any accounts with clients that were not approved by the Firm.”
Alame has been the subject of one customer complaint, according to his CRD report:
July 2019. “The customer alleged selling away.” The customer sought $138,000 in damages and the case was settled for $114,545.96. The complaint was regarding options and took place while Alame was registered with Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated.
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, Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated may be liable for investment or other losses suffered by Alame’s customers.
Erez Law represents investors in the United States for claims against brokers and brokerage firms for wrongdoing. If 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.