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Gerard Whelan: FINRA Suspends Former NYC Advisor

A disciplinary action taken by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority against former New York City broker and investment advisor Gerard Whelan (CRD# 2445147) suspended him over allegations he participated in undisclosed and unapproved private securities transactions. A former representative of Charles Schwab & Company, Whelan was fined $7,500 and suspended from acting as a broker for three months as a result of these findings.

According to a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent (No. 2018057602801) dated April 2019, Gerard Whelan was associated with Ameriprise Financial Services as a “non-registered fingerprint person” between April 5, 2016 and April 13, 2018. During that period, he made an agreement with a former investment advisory customer “to continue to manage her brokerage account” at another FINRA member firm, according to FINRA’s findings. As part of this agreement, FINRA states, he effected 132 securities transactions in that brokerage account, mostly “in blue chip or large-cap stocks in the technology, energy, and financial sectors.” FINRA’s findings state that the customer’s account grew during that period from $9,339 in value to $12,476.40. Although Whelan received no selling compensation associated with these transactions, according to FINRA, he did not provide Ameriprise with prior written notice before he engaged in the transactions, and did not received the firm’s written approval.

FINRA’s findings state that these actions constituted violations of FINRA Rule 3280, which requires registered persons to provide their firms with prior written notice before engaging in private securities transactions and receive the firm’s approval, and FINRA Rule 2010, which mandates associated persons to abide by “high standards of commercial honor and just and equitable principles of trade.” As a result of the foregoing alleged conduct, Gerard Whelan was suspended from associating with any FINRA member in any capacity for three months. He was also ordered to pay a fine of $7,500.

Gerard Whelan is not currently registered as a broker. His employment history includes Charles Schwab & Company, Chase Investment Services, Fidelity Brokerage Services, the Dreyfus Service Corporation, and Fidelity Brokerage Services. He currently holds no state registrations and has passed three securities industry qualification examinations.

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