The New Jersey Bureau of Securities has levied a large fine against LPL Financial LLC, one of the largest independent broker-dealer in the United States. The $950,000 fine also requires LPL to donate $25,000 to the New Jersey state investor education fund. The Bureau of Securities imposed these judgments against LPL for allegedly conducting unsuitable sales of non-traded real estate investment trusts and business development companies.
The Bureau on its settlement with LPL states; “This substantial settlement with LPL Financial sends a message that the securities industry cannot sell unsuitable investments to clients who are unlikely to be able to bear the financial risks,” said Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino. “The standards governing sales of alternative investments are in place to protect investors, and the Bureau will take action when these standards are ignored.”
Generally, Federal statues regulate suitability standards and limit the sale of certain alternative investments based on a complex calculation that reflects a client’s liquid net worth, or a mixture of a client’s income and net worth and other factors. New Jersey also limits the maximum total ratio of alternative investments held by an individual client’s portfolio to not exceed 10 percent of an investor’s complete portfolio.