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Christopher Lane: Merrill Lynch Fires Lubbock Advisor

Lubbock, Texas financial advisor Christopher Lane (CRD# 5255199) was recently terminated from his former member firm in connection with alleged rule violations. Financial Industry Regulatory Authority records show that the former Merrill Lynch representative is currently registered as a broker with International Assets Advisory and an investment advisor with International Assets Investment Management.

Mr. Lane’s BrokerCheck report discloses his termination from Merrill Lynch. Filed in July 2023, it states that the firm fired him in connection with allegations of “Conduct including exercising discretion in nondiscretionary client accounts.”

Investors should be aware that FINRA Rule 3260 describes specific conditions in which brokers like Mr. Lane may conduct discretionary trading, that is, the completion of securities transactions without prior consultation with the client. As FINRA explains in its investor resources, discretion “generally means the broker can decide at any time how much of a stock, bond or other security to buy or sell, and at what price, without customer input.” Rule 3260 clarifies, however, that brokers may not use discretionary authority without the investor’s prior written authorization and the firm’s approval of the account as discretionary. Furthermore, the firm’s acceptance must be “evidenced in writing by the member or the partner, officer or manager, duly designated by the member.” Even in instances in which brokers receive authorization from firm and customer, Rule 3260 prohibits them from effecting transactions “which are excessive in size or frequency in view of the financial resources and character of such account.” Brokers who improperly engage in discretionary trading may be held liable for damages.

According to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Christopher Lane holds 16 years of securities industry experience. Based in Lubbock, Texas, he has been a broker with International Assets Advisory and an investment advisor with International Assets Investment Management since October 2023. His past registrations include Merrill Lynch (Lubbock, Texas; 2009-2023), Wells Fargo Advisors (Lubbock, Texas; 2008-2009), and AG Edwards & Sons (Lubbock, Texas; 2007-2008). His credentials include the passage of four securities industry qualifying exams: the General Securities Representative Examination, or Series 7; the Securities Industry Essentials Examination, or SIE; the Uniform Securities Agent State Law Examination, or Series 63; and the Uniform Investment Adviser Law Examination, or Series 65. He is licensed in Texas. (Information current as of October 28, 2023.)

Carlson Law represents investors throughout the United States in claims against financial advisors and investment firms. If you or a loved one have suffered investment losses, please call us at 888-976-6111 or complete our contact form for a free and confidential consultation.

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