PWCK Partner Jason Kane said: “AXA sent a felonious broker to serve financially unsophisticated and elderly clients and then completely failed to perform its supervisory obligations. Nonetheless, an unrepentant AXA contended throughout the arbitration that everything was ‘perfectly suitable’ and ‘beyond reproach.’ AXA and Puccio took them to the cleaners by recommending obviously unsuitable variable annuities and life insurance policies.
PWCK Managing Partner Joseph Peiffer said: “This arbitration award sends a strong message to AXA and other financial giants that they are responsible for the conduct of the financial advisors to whom they lend their names. The definition of a suitable investment is not whatever some felonious broker can talk somebody into buying.
- CRD# 6627
- SEC# 801-14065,8-17883
- 24 Regulatory Events
- 10 Customer Complaints
- According to the Investment News, 47% of AXA’s 2017 revenue stream was from annuity sales, ranking it #4 in the country.
- In 2014, AXA was the subject of the largest fine ever levied by the New York Department of Financial Services for failing to report changes in its variable annuity structure. The fine was $20 million.
- In 2011, the New York State Department of Insurance fined AXA $1.9 million for violations, including making inaccurate or incomplete disclosures to consumers buying replacement annuity contracts and life insurance policies.
- Current AXA Broker in Buffalo, NY, Ronald Hicks, has 8 customer disputes, 4 financial liens and 1 criminal disclosure.
- Current AXA Broker outside of Utica, NY, Richard Hazard, has 8 customer disputes (6 related to VA and/or LI policies). AXA and/or Hazard has paid out over $500k to settle those disputes.
- Subject of a 2016 New York Times Expose, An Annuity for the Teacher – and the Broker.
- According to Broker Check, the brokers currently registered in Rochester have 4 annuity and life insurance disputes and 1 criminal disclosure.
- According to Broker Check, the brokers currently registered in Buffalo have 15 annuity and life insurance disclosures, 3 criminal disclosures and 11 financial lien disclosures.
- According to Broker Check, the brokers currently registered in Syracuse have 7 annuity and life insurance disclosures, 1 criminal disclosure and over 15 financial lien disclosures.
- According to Broker Check, the brokers currently registered in Albany have 5 annuity and life insurance disputes (including one that settled for $700,000) and 7 financial liens.
- Oct. 2015: FINRA Orders an Additional Five Firms to Pay $18 Million in Restitution to Charities and Retirement Accounts Overcharged for Mutual Funds
- Sept. 2007: FINRA Fines AXA Advisors $1.2 Million for Fee-Based Account Violations, Orders Return of $1.4 Million in Fees to Approximately 1,800 Customers
- July 2009: FINRA Permanently Bars Broker Operating Ponzi Scheme Involving Customers of Broker-Dealers
- Feb. 2004: NASD Fines AXA Advisors $250,000 for Failure to Waive Sales Charges on Customers’ Mutual Fund Transfers