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Robert Torcivia: FINRA Suspends Phoenix, Arizona Financial Advisor

A disciplinary action taken by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority against former Phoenix, Arizona broker and investment advisor Robert Torcivia (CRD# 700880) suspended him over allegations he improperly accepted fiduciary and beneficiary designations from senior customers of his member firm. A former representative of Moors & Cabot, Torcivia was suspended for seven months and fined $10,000.

According to a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (No. 2015044686701) dated September 2018, Robert Torcivia was registered with Wells Fargo Clearing Services and Ameriprise Financial Services between 2007 and 2015, when he improperly accepted designations as fiduciary and beneficiary from three separate customers. FINRA’s findings state specifically that he was designated as a “successor agent on one health care” power-of-attorney executed by a senior citizen customer of Wells Fargo; he was also designated as successor agent on another health care power-of-attorney executed by another Wells Fargo customer. FINRA’s findings state that he knew about these fiduciary designations when the documents in question were executed, but did not inform his firm, whose policies at the time generally forbade representatives from accepting such designations as fiduciary. Upon moving from Wells Fargo to Ameriprise Financial Services in 2010, with the two customers following him, he allegedly did not inform his new firm of the designations, even though it also had policies generally forbidding its representatives from taking fiduciary appointments. FINRA’s findings go on to state that Torcivia was designated “attorney-in-fact on a third health care” power of attorney executed by one of those customers in February 2014, did not notify Ameriprise of such, and “inaccurately represented” on three annual Ameriprise compliance forms that he was not named in any fiduciary capacity.

One of the two aforementioned customers also listed Torcivia’s wife as beneficiary on her Ameriprise IRA account, FINRA’s findings state, even though the firm’s policies generally prohibited members of its representatives’ households from being listed as such. Torcivia learned while he was employed at Ameriprise that he had been designed as the beneficiary of a customer’s trust, according to FINRA, but did not endeavor to remove his status as such, or notify his supervisor that he was listed as beneficiary; he also continued to service that customer’s trust after he discovered he was one of its beneficiaries.

FINRA’s findings state that these acceptances of fiduciary and beneficiary designations constituted violations of NASD Rule 2110 and FINRA Rule 2010. As a result of the foregoing alleged conduct, he was suspended from associating with any FINRA member in any capacity for seven months. He was also ordered to pay a fine of $10,000.

Robert Torcivia is currently not registered as a broker or investment advisor. His employment history includes Moors & Cabot in Phoenix, Arizona; Ameriprise Financial Services in Sun City, Arizona; Wells Fargo Advisors in Surprise, Arizona; Piper Jaffray & Company in Minneapolis, Minnesota; Painewebber in Weehawken, New Jersey; and Dean Witter Reynolds in Purchase, New York. He currently holds zero state licenses and has passed ten securities industry qualification examinations.

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