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George Robertson: FINRA Bars Kestra Advisor; Origin Fund Allegations

A disciplinary action taken by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority against former Darien, Connecticut broker and investment advisor George Robertson (CRD# 1026646) barred him over allegations he participated in unapproved outside business activities. A former representative of Kestra Investment Services, Robertsonwas barred from acting as a broker or otherwise associating with a broker-dealer firm.

According to a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (No. 2016051985601) dated December 2018, George Robertson participated in a private securities transaction between November 2015 and December 2016 in which he solicited and obtained an investment, from a non-firm customer, of $50,000 in his outside business, the Origin Fund. FINRA’s findings go on to state that the investor would receive, in return for the investment, an equity share of 4% in the fund as well as an annual share of profits it created. The investor’s investment was memorialized in a letter of understanding, according to FINRA, which states further that Robertson declined to give his firm, Kestra Investment Services, with prior written notice of his plans to solicit an investment in the fund; he also allegedly did not inform the firm after he received an investment of $50,000 from the non-firm customer.

FINRA’s findings go on to state that George Robertson’s conduct surrounding the Origin Fund constituted outside business activities. The conduct described in FINRA’s findings include the registration of the Origin Fund as a domestic limited liability corporation in which he was manager and sole member, the opening of a bank account and receipt of a tax identification number for the fund, and the creation of email addresses using the domain name “originfund.us.” He also allegedly created a business plan and presentation outlining his investment strategy, sent presentations to prospective customers, and signed email communications with titles including “Managing Director” or “Managing Partner and CIO.”

When FINRA requested information from George Robertson, the AWC Letter states, Robertson told the regulator in a written response that the Origin Fund investor had loaned it $40,000 as part of an oral agreement, that Robertson had no formal titles at the company, and that he engaged in his activities related to the Origin Fund with the knowledge and support of his member firm. FINRA states that he repeated these assertions in on-the-record testimony, and further that they “were false.”

FINRA’s findings state that these activities by Robertson constituted violation of FINRA Rules, including FINRA Rules 3270, 3280, and 2010. As a result of the foregoing alleged conduct, George Robertson was barred from association with any FINRA member in all capacities.

George Robertson is not currently registered as a broker or investment advisor. His employment history includes Kestra Investment Services in Darien, Connecticut, Yamaichi International, Jamie Securities Company, and Salomon Brothers. He currently holds no state licenses and has passed six securities industry qualification examinations.

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