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Former Woodbury Financial Services Broker, James G. Kennedy, Barred By FINRA

James G. Kennedy (CRD # 1527660) was a Financial Advisor at Woodbury Financial Services in Madison, MS. James G. Kennedy has been in the securities industry since 1984 and previously worked at Hartford Equity Sales Co.

According to publicly available records released by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), on April 28, 2020, FINRA sanctioned James G. Kennedy, barring him from associating with a broker-dealer. According to the FINRA Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent, “Kennedy consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings that he failed to provide documents and information requested by FINRA in connection with its investigation into a tip received. The findings stated that Kennedy provided partial but incomplete responses to FINRA’s requests, but subsequently ceased cooperating with its investigation and refused to produce additional documents and information. Kennedy’s member firm filed a Form U5 disclosing his termination, explaining that he was permitted to resign for engaging in an unapproved outside business activity involving a financial transaction with a couple of clients.”

For a copy of the FINRA sanction, click https://www.finra.org/sites/default/files/fda_documents/2019062489101%20James%20Kennedy%20CRD%201527660%20AWC%20sl.pdf

Outside business activities are closely monitored by brokerage firms and regulators to ensure that Financial Advisors do not involve customers in investment opportunities that are not approved by the broker’s employing brokerage firm. This practice is known as “selling away.”

FINRA strictly prohibits financial advisors from “selling away” or selling securities and investments to clients that are not offered by the brokerage firm with which they are employed. For example, it is illegal and a violation of industry rules for a financial advisor to recommend or even suggest that a client invest in the financial advisor’s own business or a business operated by his or her friends or family. It is not necessary that the financial advisor earn any compensation for recommending an outside investment.

The purpose behind this prohibition is to ensure that a financial advisor only offers to sell securities that have been vetted by his or her employer brokerage firm through a rigorous due diligence process. Most brokerage firms have an approved list of investments, products, and research that can be provided or made available to clients. Any deviation by the financial advisor from the approved product list may constitute selling away.

In addition, James G. Kennedy was the subject of one customer complaint during his career, which was settled for $7,000 in 2007.

For a copy of James G. Kennedy’s CRD, click https://brokercheck.finra.org/individual/summary/1527660#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.

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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