Investment Advisor, Brandon Hanna, No Longer Registered With Creative Planning

As previously reported by the Wolper Law Firm, P.A., we are investigating SEC Registered Investment Advisor (“RIA”), Creative Planning, and its options trader, Brandon Hanna.  Creative Planning is one of the country’s largest RIA firms.  According to its most recent Form ADV, it manages more than $130 billion in assets for more than 35,000 clients.  These numbers are likely to increase as Creative Planning has just recently acquired a wealth management unit of Goldman Sachs.  One subset of Creative Planning’s business involves options trading, which is managed by a team that was formerly led by Investment Advisor Representative Brandon Hanna.  Brandon Hanna was registered with the firm since 2017.  In late September 2023, Brandon Hanna’s registration with Creative Planning terminated.  The reasons for Brandon Hanna’s termination of registration have not yet been publicly disclosed.

Brandon Hanna started his career in the commodities industry.  He did not become registered to sell securities or render investment advice until 2017 when he was hired by Creative Planning as its lead options trader.  This employment separation comes on the heels of numerous arbitration claims that have been filed against Creative Planning as a result of options trading spearheaded by Brandon Hanna.

Since becoming registered with Creative Planning in 2017, Brandon Hanna has been the subject of three publicly disclosed customer complaints.  Two of the customer complaints have resulted in arbitration awards, totaling nearly $9 million.  A third complaint, alleging damages of $10 million, remains pending.  A copy of Brandon Hanna’s publicly available CRD is available here.  The Wolper Law Firm has been on the front lines of litigation involving Brandon Hanna and Creative Planning.  We are intimately familiar with how Creative Planning operates, its supervisory structure and the manner in which Brandon Hanna implemented options strategies.

Options trading is highly complex.  Creative Planning is required, pursuant to the Investment Advisors Act of 1940, to supervise Brandon Hanna’s options trading activity in order to ensure that it meets the client’s objectives.  Those objectives and the viability of a chosen options strategy may change over time.  Given the pace at which the options market moves, it is the responsibility of Creative Planning and Brandon Hanna to reevaluate whether the strategy is continuing to meet a client’s objectives and make necessary adjustments.

The Securities and Exchange Commission has brought regulatory enforcement actions against investment advisors when they have failed to adequately train their employees regarding a security or an investment strategy.  The SEC has also brought enforcement actions against investment advisors for failing to adequately disclose changes in an underlying investment strategy due to market conditions.

In order for Creative Planning to meet its supervisory obligations, they are required to review Brandon Hanna’s competency to trade options.  Moreover, Creative Planning must have systems in place to review options trading activity in customer accounts in order to ensure that in remains consistent with investment objectives.  Indeed, Creative Planning represents to the investing public in its Form ADV that it provides “continuous” monitoring and supervision.  Failure to adhere to these obligations may constitute a breach of fiduciary duty.

For clients of Creative Planning that were recommended to trade options through Brandon Hanna, and have experienced losses, please contact the Wolper Law Firm for a free, confidential consultation.  We will evaluate the strategy implemented in your accounts with Creative Planning to determine if there is a basis to bring a claim to recover your 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 more than 1,000 securities cases during his career involving a wide range of products, strategies and securities, including cases involving options strategies.  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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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]