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Home > Blog > Oppenheimer & Co. – Widespread Culture of Corruption?

Oppenheimer & Co. – Widespread Culture of Corruption?

Oppenheimer & Co., one of the most sanctioned and criticized brokerage firms on Wall Street, has been once again the subject of a massive regulatory fine (“FINRA Sanctions Oppenheimer & Co. $2.9 Million for Unsuitable Sales of Non-Traditional ETFs and Related Supervisory Failures”) according to a release issued by the Financial Regulatory Authority, Inc. (“FINRA”) on June 8, 2016.

This latest enforcement proceeding was the result of Oppenheimer having sold “leveraged, inverse and inverse-leveraged exchange-traded funds (non-traditional ETFs) to retail customers without reasonable supervision, and for recommending non-traditional ETFs that were not suitable.”

According to the FINRA release, notwithstanding the fact that “Oppenheimer’s procedures prohibited solicitation of non-traditional ETFs,” between August 2009 and September 30, 2013, “more than 760 Oppenheimer representatives executed more than 30,000 non-traditional ETF transactions totaling approximately $1.7 billion for customers.”

FINRA also found that “Oppenheimer failed to conduct adequate due diligence regarding the risks and features of non-traditional ETFs and, as a result, did not have a reasonable basis to recommend these ETFs to retail customers. Similarly, Oppenheimer representatives solicited and effected non-traditional ETF purchases that were unsuitable for specific customers.”

A complete copy of this latest regulatory enforcement proceeding can be accessed through the FINRA website at

Moreover, a cursory review of the FINRA BrokerCheck report for Oppenheimer & Co. indicates that the firm has now been the subject of at least 83 regulatory enforcement proceedings and hundreds of customer-initiated arbitration proceedings.

Of equal and perhaps greater importance, a recent academic study (“The Market for Financial Adviser Misconduct”) found that more than one in seven financial advisers at Oppenheimer & Co. “have engaged in misconduct in their past” and that “almost one in five financial advisers at Oppenheimer & Co. have been disciplined for misconduct in the past.”

If you are an individual or institutional investor who has any concerns about your accounts and/or investments with Oppenheimer & Co., please contact us for a no-cost and no-obligation evaluation of your specific facts and circumstances. You may have a viable claim for recovery of your investment losses by filing an individual securities arbitration claim with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

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