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Former Merrill Lynch Financial Advisor Peter Eckerline Has Nine Customer Complaints Disclosures, Alleging Sales Practice Misconduct

Peter Eckerline (CRD#: 1244319) is a previously registered Broker and Investment Advisor. He entered the securities industry in 1984 and previously worked for Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Inc.

 

According to publicly available records released by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), in June 2021, a customer dispute was filed against Peter Eckerline. The allegation states, “The customer alleges the financial advisor did not act in their best interest regarding fee structure and asset allocation.” The complaint is pending.

 

In addition, Peter Eckerline has been the subject of eight customer complaints, including the following:

 

  • June 2021–”The customer alleges the financial advisor did not act in their best interest regarding fee structure and asset allocation.” The customer dispute was denied.
  • March 2016–“The Customer alleges unsuitable investments from January 2015 to January 2016.” The customer dispute was settled for $275,000.
  • June 2012–”THE CUSTOMER ALLEGES FAILURE TO FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS FROM FEBRUARY 2012 TO JUNE 2012.” The customer dispute was denied.
  • June 2012–”THE CUSTOMER ALLEGES UNSUITABLE INVESTMENTS AND MISREPRESENTATION AND OMISSION OF MATERIAL FACTS FROM DECEMBER 2007 THROUGH MARCH 2008.” The customer dispute was settled for $64,500.
  • October 2011–”THE CUSTOMER ALLEGES UNSUITABLE INVESTMENT RECOMMENDATIONS AND MISREPRESENTATION AND OMISSION OF MATERIAL FACTS FROM FEBRUARY 2008 TO SEPTEMBER 2008.” The customer dispute was settled for $295,000.
  • October 2010–”THE CUSTOMER ALLEGES UNSUITABLE INVESTMENT RECOMMENDATIONS AND MISREPRESENTATION FROM SEPTEMBER 2007 TO JULY 2009. COMPENSATORY DAMAGES ARE NOT SPECIFIED.” The customer dispute was settled for $87,934.40.
  • December 2009–”THE CUSTOMER ALLEGES UNSUITABLE INVESTMENT RECOMMENDATIONS AND MISREPRESENTATION REGARDING RISK FROM JANUARY 2009 TO THE PRESENT.” The customer dispute was closed with no action.
  • October 2001–”CUSTOMER’S ATTORNEY ALLEGES THAT FINANCIAL ADVISOR INVESTED CUSTOMER IN AN UNSUITABLE INVESTMENT.” The customer dispute was settled for $9,900.

 

For a copy of Peter Eckerline’s FINRA BrokerCheck, click here.

 

Financial advisors have a legal and regulatory obligation to recommend only suitable investments that are appropriate for their clients’ needs and objectives. Their employing brokerage firm has a legal and regulatory obligation to supervise the Financial Advisors’ sales practices and dealings with clients.  To the extent any of these duties are breached, the customer may be entitled to a recovery of his or her investment losses.

 

Reasonable basis suitability requires that a recommended investment or investment strategy be suitable or appropriate for at least some investors. Reasonable basis suitability requires an advisor to conduct adequate due diligence so that he or she can determine the risks and rewards of the investment or investment strategy.

 

Quantitative suitability requires a brokerage firm or financial advisor with actual or de facto control over a customer’s account to have a reasonable basis for believing that a series of recommended transactions – even if suitable when viewed in isolation – is not excessive and unsuitable for the customer when taken together in light of the customer’s investment profile. No single test defines excessive activity, but factors such as the turnover rate, the cost-equity ratio, and the use of in-and-out trading in a customer’s account may provide a basis for a finding that a member or associated person has violated the quantitative suitability obligation.

 

Customer-specific suitability requires that a member or associated person have a reasonable basis to believe that the recommendation is suitable for a particular customer based on that customer’s investment profile. Among the criteria that a financial advisor must evaluate to satisfy his or her customer-specific suitability obligations include the investor’s agee, tax status, time horizon, liquidity needs, and risk tolerance; a client’s other investments, financial situation and needs, investment objectives, and any other information disclosed by the customer should also be considered.

 

The Wolper Law Firm represents investors nationwide in securities litigation and arbitration on a contingency fee basis. Matt Wolper, the Managing Principal of the Wolper Law Firm, is a trial lawyer who has handled hundreds of securities cases during his career involving a wide range of products, strategies and securities. Prior to representing investors, he was a partner with a national law firm, where he represented some of the largest banks and brokerage firms in the world in securities matters. We can be reached at 800.931.8452 or by email at mwolper@wolperlawfirm.com.

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