Former Westpark Capital And Wynston Hill Capital, LLC Broker, Hector Ramos, Suspended By FINRA For Three Months For Allegedly Recommending Unsuitable Investments
Hector Ramos (CRD #4172477) was a Financial Advisor at Westpark Capital in New York, NY and Wynston Hill Capital in Red Bank, NJ. Hector Ramos was in the securities industry from 2000 to 2019, during which he worked at 11 different brokerage firms.
According to publicly available records released by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), on June 2, 2020, Hector Ramos was sanctioned by FINRA, suspending him for three months. According to the FINRA sanction:
“Without admitting or denying the findings, Ramos consented to the sanctions and to the entry of findings that he made unsuitable recommendations to a customer that was unemployed, disabled, living on a fixed income, and had limited investment experience. The findings stated that Ramos recommended that the customer invest primarily in speculative energy sector securities, despite the volatility of the energy market, the volatility of the specific securities, and the customer’s investment profile, Ramos repeatedly recommended that the customer increase her positions in energy sector securities, including additional energy sector securities. The customer realized losses totaling $86,891.”
For a copy of the FINRA sanction, click https://www.finra.org/sites/default/files/fda_documents/2018059983001%20Hector%20Ramos%20CRD%204172477%20AWC%20sl%20%282020-1593735567107%29.pdf
In addition to the foregoing, in September 2016, Hector Ramos was sanctioned by FINRA resulting in a 20-day suspension. This second sanction was based on Hector Ramos lending money to a customer. According to the 2016 FINRA sanction:
“Without admitting or denying the findings, Ramos consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings that he lent $10,000 to a customer of his member firm, when Ramos neither requested nor received firm permission to lend the money. The findings stated that in fact, the firm policy prohibited Ramos from lending the money.”
Hector Ramos was also the subject of a costumer dispute in June of 2014 alleging unsuitable investments that resulted in a settlement of $120,000 in damages.
Hector Ramos was discharged from Morgan Stanley Smith Barney in August of 2014.
For a copy of Hector Ramos’s CRD, click https://brokercheck.finra.org/individual/summary/4172477#disclosuresSection.
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:
• Other investments
• Financial situation and needs
• Tax status
• Investment objectives
• Time horizon
• Liquidity needs
• Risk tolerance
• Any other information disclosed by the customer
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