Former O.N. Equity Sales Co. Broker, James Van Ham, Suspended By FINRA, For Allegedly Attempting To Facilitate An Annuity Exchange Away From His Firm
James Van Ham (CRD # 1231636) was a Financial Advisor at O.N. Equity Sales Co. in Naperville, Illinois. James Van Ham has been in the securities industry since 1983 and previously worked at Country Capital Management Company.
According to publicly available records released by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), on June 16, 2020, FINRA sanctioned James Van Ham, suspending him from associating with any FINRA member brokerage firm for a period of two months. It is alleged Matthew Muratori attempted to facilitate an annuity exchange in the account of an elderly customer after his employing brokerage firm already rejected the trade based on suitability concerns. According to the FINRA Sanction:
“Without admitting or denying the findings, Van Ham consented to the sanctions and to the entry of findings that he circumvented his member firm’s supervisory procedures in an effort to effect a senior customer’s variable-to-fixed annuity exchange that his firm had already rejected as unsuitable. The findings stated that Van Ham sent an email from his unmonitored and unapproved personal email account to an individual not associated with his firm, seeking assistance to process the transaction away from the firm. In the email Van Ham warned the individual not to contact him through his firm email account, but instead to use his cell or the private email address. The exchange did not occur.”
Annuities are complex hybrid securities/insurance products with high costs and expenses ratios. If a broker recommends selling one annuity and using the proceeds to purchase another, he or she must justify the reasonableness of the trade and provide an explanation as to how the transaction benefits the customer. Often times, exchanges are recommended that do not provide a material benefit to the customer but allow the broker to earn a commission.
For a copy of the FINRA Sanction, click https://www.finra.org/sites/default/files/fda_documents/2018059249501%20James%20Van%20Ham%20CRD%201231636%20AWC%20va.pdf
For a copy of James Van Ham’s CRD, click https://brokercheck.finra.org/individual/summary/1231636#disclosuresSection.
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