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Farrukh Kazmi: Berthel Fisher Broker Suspended

A disciplinary action taken by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority against Philadelphia, Pennsylvania broker Farrukh Kazmi (CRD# 2855915) suspended him over allegations he exercised unauthorized discretion and used unapproved methods to communicate with clients. A representative of Berthel Fisher & Company, Kazmi was fined $20,000 and suspended for five months.

According to an order accepting an offer of settlement (No. 2014039169602) dated March 2019, a FINRA complaint alleged Farrukh Kazmi “regularly used instant message and text method to communicate with his member firm’s customers to conduct securities business” in spite of firm procedures and instructions not to use instant messages for such a purpose. According to FINRA’s complaint, he did not notify his firm that he was using such methods to communicate with customers and conduct securities business, and additionally did not give his firm copies of the communications in question, which allegedly prevented the firm from reviewing and retaining correspondence with the public and from making and preserving books and records. FINRA’s complaint against Farrukh Kazmi went on to allege that he “repeatedly made false statements to the firm and to FINRA” about his use of unapproved communication methods to transact securities business.

FINRA’s complaint also alleged that despite Berthel Fisher & Company’s written supervisory procedures prohibiting the exercise of discretion in customer accounts, except in limited circumstances, Farrukh Kazmi exercised discretion in at least six customers’ accounts between 2013 and 2014. FINRA’s complaint states that he received the customers’ verbal authorization but did not seek or receive their written authorization, and additionally that the firm did not approve the accounts as discretionary. As a result of the foregoing alleged conduct, Farrukh Kazmi was suspended from associating with any FINRA member in any capacity for five months. He was also fined $20,000 and ordered to pay disgorgement of a portion of commissions he received on certain trades.

Farrukh Kazmi has been registered with Berthel Fisher & Company in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania since 2010. His employment history includes Bright Trading, Sterne Agee Financial Services, Cantella & Company, Raymond James Financial Services, and Dean Witter Reynolds. He currently holds four state licenses and has passed five securities industry qualification examinations.

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