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FINRA Suspends PHX Advisor Steve Baptist

A disciplinary action taken by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority against New York City broker Steve Baptist (CRD# 5885870) suspended him over allegations he engaged in unauthorized trading. A representative of PHX Financial, Baptist was suspended for 30 days and ordered to pay a fine of $5,000.

According to a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (No. 2018058666001) dated August 2019, Steve Baptist was registered with Joseph Gunnar & Associates when, in March 2017, he effected two unauthorized transactions in the account of a deceased customer, for which he received commissions of $530. FINRA’s findings go on to state that in November 2017, he executed two trades in the account of another deceased customer, then two more trades about five weeks later. FINRA’s findings state that each of these trades was unauthorized, and further that they resulted in losses for which his firm repaid the customer’s estate. Steve Baptist also allegedly exercised discretion in the accounts of five customers at Joseph Gunnar & Associates in 2017, according to FINRA. He engaged in discretionary trading without receiving the customers’ written authorization or the firm’s approval of the accounts as discretionary, the findings state. FINRA found that these activities constituted violations of FINRA Rule 2010 and NASD Rule 2510(b). As a result of the foregoing alleged conduct, he was suspended from association with any FINRA member in any capacity for 30 days. He was also ordered to pay a fine of $5,000 and disgorge commissions of $530 plus interest.

Steve Baptist’s disclosure records also list one employment separation: specifically, his discharge from Joseph Gunnar & Company in May 2018 over allegations of unauthorized trading.

Steve Baptist is currently registered with PHX Financial in New York City, where he has been registered since June 2018. His employment history includes Joseph Gunnar & Company in New York City; MetLife Securities in Roseland, New Jersey; and Investors Capital Corporation in Greenwich, Connecticut. He currently holds 23 state licenses and has passed three securities industry qualification examinations.

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