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Mitchell Riesenberger: Options Overlay Complaint Against UBS Advisor
An options overlay complaint is the subject of a recent investor complaint against Mitchell Riesenberger (CRD# 2990475), an advisor at UBS Financial Services. Records show that he is a broker and an investment advisor based in Boston and Wellesley, Massachusetts, and a former representative of Credit Suisse Securities.
Complaint: Options Overlay Strategy Was Unsuitable
The complaint involving Mr. Riesenberger was filed in August 2022, according to a disclosure on his FINRA-maintained BrokerCheck report. It alleges that as a representative of UBS Financial Services, he misrepresented and recommended an unsuitable options overlay strategy. The pending complaint alleges damages of $620,000.
UBS Settled Yield Enhancement Strategy Charges
In June 2022, the US Securities and Exchange Commission ordered UBS Financial Services to pay a settlement of $24.6 million in connection with fraud charges stemming from an options overlay investment strategy known as YES, or the Yield Enhancement Strategy. According to a report by City Wire, approximately 600 UBS customers invested more than $2 billion in the strategy based on recommendations by their financial advisors. The SEC charged that the firm “failed to properly train and oversee its advisors and did not share the documented ‘significant risk in YES investments’ with either advisors or clients,” the report states. UBS advisors reportedly started recommending the strategy in 2016, but it was not until 2017 that UBS started providing them with “adequate training” regarding the investments, which started sustaining losses in 2018.
“Advisory firms are obligated to implement appropriate policies and procedures to ensure all parties involved in the sale of complex financial products and strategies have a clear understanding of the risks those products present,” an SEC official said in a statement about the June 2022 YES settlement. “As fiduciaries, advisers also must make suitable recommendations to their clients. Complex products can present unique risks, and the SEC will remain vigilant and continue to take action to protect those who invest in these products from misconduct.”
FINRA: Riesenberger Currently Based in Boston
According to records provided by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Mitchell Riesenberger has spent 23 years as a broker. Based in Boston, Massachusetts, he has been a representative of UBS Financial Services since 2015. The firm’s website states that he is part of the Riesenberger Wealth Management Group. His past registrations include Credit Suisse Securities and Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette Securities Corporation. (Information current as of November 21, 2022.)
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