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Clay Erickson: FINRA Suspends Salt Lake City Financial Advisor

A disciplinary action taken by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority against former Salt Lake City, Utah broker Clay Erickson (CRD# 1583644) suspended him over allegations he executed unauthorized variable annuity transactions. A former representative of Hornor Townsend & Kent, Erickson was suspended for 9 months and issued a fine of $7,500.

According to a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (No. 2017056602301) dated September 2019, Clay Erickson executed 494 unauthorized transactions on January 13, 2016 and January 14, 2016. FINRA’s findings state specifically that he “transferred all of the funds held by 57 customers across 86 variable annuity contracts to a money market sub-account” because he foresaw a downturn in the market and wanted to protect his customers’ account value. However, FINRA states, he did not have authorization from these customers to execute the transactions in question, and had no discretionary authority over the accounts. The findings state further that he received no compensation in connection with the transactions, and although customers did not incur fees or losses connected with them, the firm did resolve a customer complaint it received about Erickson’s conduct. FINRA found these activities to constitute violations of FINRA Rule 2010, which requires associated persons to observe high standards of commercial honor and just and equitable principles of trade. As a result of the foregoing alleged conduct, he was barred from association with any FINRA member in any capacity for 9 months. He was also ordered to pay a fine of $7,500.

Clay Erickson’s disclosure records also list several four settled customer complaints against him.

A 2017 complaint alleged that as a representative of Hornor Townsend & Kent, Clay Erickson placed his variable annuity sub-accounts in a money market sub-account without his knowledge. The complaint reached a settlement in 2018 of $13,006.40.

A 2017 complaint alleged that as a representative of Hornor Townsend & Kent, he made an unsuitable recommendation to transfer her investments to purchase a life insurance policy. The complaint reached a settlement in $22,992.40.

A 2009 complaint alleged that as a representative of Equity Services, he made misrepresentations of material facts and recommended unsuitable investments. The complaint reached a settlement of $35,000.

Clay Erickson is currently not registered as a broker or investment advisor. His employment history includes Hornor Townsend & Kent in Salt Lake City, Utah; Equity Services in Salt Lake City, Utah; 1717 Capital Services in Newark, Delaware; WS Griffith & Company in Hartford, Connecticut; Secura Investments in Appleton, Wisconsin; and Phoenix Equity Planning Corporation in Hartford, Connecticut. He currently holds zero state licenses and has passed three securities industry qualification examinations.

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