An Investment News article reports today that Thomas J. Buck, who was Merrill Lynch’s top financial adviser in Indiana by assets under management – reportedly $1.3 billion — was suddenly and unexpectedly terminated for alleged compliance violations. The article states in part:
Ultimately, Merrill Lynch officials pointed to a number of problems they said had resulted in “management’s loss of confidence” in Mr. Buck, according to his U5 filing, which Merrill Lynch submitted to Finra on Thursday. Mr. Buck was ultimately terminated because of “conduct including failing to discuss service level and pricing alternatives with a customer, providing inaccurate information to firm management during account reviews regarding this issue, mismarking bond cross-trade order tickets as unsolicited, and providing information to a client during an active account review that did not correspond to the firm’s records,” according to the U5.
Our hunch is that the alleged misconduct of Tom Buck and the Buck Group probably was more widespread and egregious than reported to Investment News or even FINRA, since (a) Merrill would not readily cut loose such a huge producer unless it was undertaking serious damage control and (b) whatever else Merrill might disclose publicly could be used against them if Buck’s customers begin pursuing claims.
Of course, we’re speculating here based on a news report and have no evidence of activities that would give rise to liability on the part of Thomas Buck or Merrill Lynch. But if you’re one of Buck’s present or former clients and have incurred losses or have reason to suspect you may have been subject to sales abuses, please give us a call. We’ll review your situation at no charge and to tell you whether we detect any wrongdoing in your account.
Contact Hugh Berkson at (866) 932-1295 to discuss your situation. If you prefer, fill out our online contact form to the right of the page or email Hugh Berkson at firstname.lastname@example.org.