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Robert W Pearce
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Mr. Pearce has tried, arbitrated and mediated numerous disputes involving complex securities, commodities, administrative, contract, commercial, business tort and employment law issues for over 30 years. He has represented hundreds of clients in Federal and state courts (trial and appellate) as... More
My company:
The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A.
My blog:
The Investor's Rights Law Blog
  • SEC CHARGES CHRISTOPHER KEIL HICKS OF FOCUS POINT SOLUTIONS AND THE H GROUP FOR FAILURE TO DISCLOSE REVENUE-SHARING PAYMENTS 0 comments
    Feb 26, 2013 1:39 PM

    The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) settled an administrative proceeding against Christopher Keil Hicks and two of his Portland, Oregon investment advisory firms for failure to disclose a revenue-sharing agreement and other potential conflicts of interests to clients. The SEC's investigation unraveled violations in three areas of the advisory business managed by Hicks, who owns Focus Point Solutions and The H Group. Above all, Focus Point did not disclose to customers that it was receiving revenue-sharing payments from a brokerage firm that managed a particular category of mutual funds being recommended to Focus Point clients. As a result, Mr. Hicks, Focus Point, and The H Group agreed to pay a total of $1.1 million to settle the case.

    The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) settled an administrative proceeding against Christopher Keil Hicks and two of his Portland, Oregon investment advisory firms for failure to disclose a revenue-sharing agreement and other potential conflicts of interests to clients. The SEC's investigation unraveled violations in three areas of the advisory business managed by Hicks, who owns Focus Point Solutions and The H Group. Above all, Focus Point did not disclose to customers that it was receiving revenue-sharing payments from a brokerage firm that managed a particular category of mutual funds being recommended to Focus Point clients. As a result, Mr. Hicks, Focus Point, and The H Group agreed to pay a total of $1.1 million to settle the case.

    Investment advisers and broker-dealers must adhere to high standards of conduct in their interactions with investors and management of their client's funds. These standards of conduct are imposed by the federal and state securities laws and, in the case of FINRA members, also by the SRO rules. Also, an investment adviser is a fiduciary whose duty is to serve the best interests of its clients, including an obligation not to subordinate clients' interests to its own. This fiduciary standard applies to the investment adviser's entire relationship with its clients and prospective clients, imposes upon investment advisers the affirmative duty of utmost good faith, and full and fair disclosure of all material facts as well as an affirmative obligation to employ reasonable care to avoid misleading their clients and prospective clients. Mr. Hicks, Focus Point Solutions, and The H Group clearly breached their fiduciary duties by not disclosing to their clients any information relevant to the revenue-sharing arrangements.

    The SEC's report went on to state that its asset management unit and its San Francisco Regional Office have started an initiative to shed more light on investment advisers and brokers who arrange profit sharing agreements between themselves.

    Have you suffered losses at Focus Point Solutions or The H Group resulting from their failure to disclose relevant information? If so, call Robert Pearce at the Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A. for a free consultation.

    The most important of investors' rights is the right to be informed! This Investors' Rights blog post is by the Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A., located in Boca Raton, Florida. For over 30 years, Attorney Pearce has tried, arbitrated, and mediated hundreds of disputes involving complex securities, commodities and investment law issues. The lawyers at our law firm are devoted to protecting investors' rights throughout the United States and internationally! Please visit our website, www.secatty.com, post a comment, call (800) 732-2889, or email Mr. Pearce at pearce@rwpearce.com for answers to any of your questions about this blog post and/or any related matter.

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