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Ex-Chicago Broker Michael Collins Suspended, Fined $10,000

Michael Collins (CRD# 2915653), a financial professional formerly registered as a broker with Robert W. Baird & Company, was recently sanctioned by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority in connection to allegations he engaged in a private securities transaction without making proper disclosures to his member firm. Currently registered as an investment adviser with Kingsbury Capital Investment Advisors in Evanston, Illinois, Collins was issued a five-month suspension and a fine of $10,000. 

According to a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent (No. 2017056104801) dated November 2019, Michael Collins was registered with Robert W. Baird & Company in Chicago, Illinois when, between February 2014 and December 2015, he solicited 15 people to make investments of about $200,000 in “membership units of an LLC organized to operate a new restaurant in Chicago, Illinois.” FINRA states that his member firm had approved of Collins’ and his father’s investment in the LLC, but had prohibited him from soliciting anyone else to invest in it. Nonetheless, FINRA states, he engaged in the sale of membership interests, with his activities including the introduction of investors to business partners in the investment, discussions of his own investments in the project, and “attending networking events with the investors where the investment was discussed.” FINRA states that seven of the 15 investors were firm customers, and that the restaurant in question “opened in early 2017 and closed approximately nine months later.” Collins did not provide his firm with notice about his involvement in the 15 investors’ investments, according to FINRA, and further did not disclose such in two annual compliance attestations. 

FINRA’s findings go on to state that Michael Collins assisted in an arrangement under which the LLC repurchased “the membership units from certain of the investors as part of a broader agreement,” and that he paid investors who were part of that agreement “the difference between their original investment and the amount they received pursuant to the agreement.” According to FINRA, he did not disclose his participation in this arrangement to his member firm. As a result of the foregoing alleged conduct, Collins was issued a five month suspension from association with FINRA member firms. He was also ordered to pay a fine of $10,000.

Michael Collins is currently not registered as a broker with any FINRA member firm; he is registered as an investment adviser with Kingsbury Capital Investment Advisors. His previous registrations include Kingsbury Capital, Robert W. Baird & Company, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, Morgan Stanley & Company, Morgan Stanley DW, and Citigroup Global Markets. He has passed five securities industry qualifying examinations and his BrokerCheck report currently lists no state securities licenses. (Information current as of May 6, 2020.)

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