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Independent Financial Group Financial Advisor Donovan Kelly Suspended By FINRA

Donovan Kelly (CRD#: 2622366) is a dually registered Broker and Investment Advisor at Independent Financial Group, LLC in Billings, MT.

Broker’s Background

He entered the securities industry in 1995 and previously worked for Pacific West Financial Consultants, Inc.; Pacific West Securities, Inc.; Raymond James Financial Services Advisors, Inc.; Raymond James Financial Services, Inc.; Royal Alliance Associates, Inc.; and New England Securities.

Current And Past Allegations Of Conduct Leading To Investment Loss

According to publicly available records released by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), in March 2022, FINRA sanctioned Donovan Kelly, levying a civil and administrative penalty/fine of $10,000, and suspending him from all capacities for seven months beginning April 18, 2022 and ending November 17, 2022. The FINRA sanction states, “Without admitting or denying the findings, Kelly consented to the sanctions and to the entry of findings that he participated in private securities transactions outside the regular course or scope of his employment without providing prior written notice to his member firm. The findings stated that Kelly recommended investors purchase promissory notes in an oil and gas drilling company, summarizing the investment for the investors, and arranging for some of the investors to fund the purchases through sales and money transfers from their firm accounts. The promissory notes were securities. Collectively, these investors, including himself and other firm customers, invested $688,000 in the company. Kelly did not receive compensation for the investments. In addition, when asked on annual firm attestation forms whether he had participated in private securities transactions, Kelly answered no.”

For a copy of the FINRA sanction, click here.

Donovan Kelly has no additional disciplinary history.

For a copy of Donovan Kelly’s FINRA BrokerCheck, click here.

We Help Investors Recover Investment Losses

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (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.

FINRA Rule 3280 provides: “No person associated with a member shall participate in any manner in a private securities transaction except in accordance with the requirements of this Rule. Prior to participating in any private securities transaction, an associated person shall provide written notice to the member with which he is associated describing in detail the proposed transaction and the person’s proposed role therein and stating whether he has received or may receive selling compensation in connection with the transaction; provided however that, in the case of a series of related transactions in which no selling compensation has been or will be received, an associated person may provide a single written notice.”

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.

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.

Attorney Matthew Wolper

Attorney Matthew WolperMatt Wolper is a trial lawyer who focuses exclusively on securities litigation and arbitration. Mr. Wolper has handled hundreds of securities matters nationwide before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), American Arbitration Association (“AAA”), JAMS, and in state and federal court. Mr. Wolper has handled and tried cases involving complex financial products and strategies ranging from traditional stocks and bonds to options, margin and other securities-based lending products, closed/open-end mutual funds, structured products, hedge funds, and penny stocks. [Attorney Bio]