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Investor Alleges UBS Advisor Mark Sullivan Misrepresented Options
New York City broker and investment adviser Mark Sullivan (CRD# 2531982) allegedly engaged in misconduct surrounding an investment in an options strategy, according to a pending customer complaint against him. The UBS Financial Services representative has responded that the strategy’s “risks were clearly explained,” according to Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) records.
Filed in May 2020, the complaint alleges that starting in 2018, Mark Sullivan, as a representative of UBS Financial Services, engaged in “unsuitability and misrepresentation” in connection to recommendations that the customer make and hold investments in an options overlay strategy offered by the firm. The complaint seeks unspecified damages. In a statement Sullivan made on the disclosure, he writes in part that the investment’s risks were explained to the investor, and that he was “surprised to learn of the details of this filing.”
For reference, FINRA rules mandate that brokers like Mark Sullivan must follow the suitability standard, which requires that they only recommend their customers invest in products that are considered suitable to their particular investment profiles. This includes such factors as investment goals, investment experience, age, net worth, income, and risk tolerance. This is distinct from the fiduciary standard followed by investment advisers, which requires placing the investor’s interests above the adviser’s. Brokers are also forbidden from making misrepresentations of material facts, that is, information that is a significant consideration to the investor in their decision-making: for instance, the risk level inherent in an investment product or strategy. Misrepresentations may lead an investor to make unsuitable decisions.
Mark Sullivan has been registered with UBS Financial Services in New York, New York since 2015. His previous registrations include Credit Suisse Securities (2008-2015), Lehman Brothers (1997-2008), Needham & Company (1996-1997), Bear Stearns & Company (1995), and CS First Boston Corporation (1995), all in New York City. He has passed four securities industry qualifying examinations, including the Securities Industry Essentials Examination and the General Securities Representative Examination. His BrokerCheck report lists 31 state securities licenses. (Information current as of May 11, 2022.)
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