Oakes & Fosher is presently investigating the possible misconduct of former securities broker Eric Nichols. According to his publicly available FINRA BrokerCheck report, Eric Nichols has been the subject of multiple customer disputes.

Eric Nichols worked as a California based securities broker. He worked in the securities industry for twenty-two years. During his career, he was registered with three different securities firms. He is no longer working as a registered securities broker in any fashion.

His Registrations

  • H&R Block Financial Advisors (1996-2001)
  • Citigroup Global Markets (2001-2009)
  • Morgan Stanley (2009-2019)

The Allegations

  • In September 2017, a customer alleged that Eric Nichols recommended unsuitable investments. This case was settled for $95,000 in damages.
  • In February 2019, another customer alleged that Eric Nichols recommended unsuitable investments. This case is currently pending. The customer is seeking an undisclosed amount in damages.
  • In February 2019, he was discharged from his position at Morgan Stanley following allegations that he executed unauthorized trades.

What Does This Mean?

Securities brokers have a legal obligation to only recommend securities to customers that are suited for them. This suitability is determined by factors that include the customer’s financial situation, investment objectives, risk tolerance, and liquidity needs. Securities brokers, like Eric Nichols, are expected to conduct the necessary due diligence required to discern a customer’s suitability by analyzing the above mentioned factors.

Securities brokers are also legally obligated to get their customer’s authorization for they execute trades. This is because investors are entitled the opportunity to make that decision themselves. There is a process known as discretion that enables a securities broker to make trades on their customer’s behalf without seeking authorization prior to every trade. However, in order to exercise discretion, the securities broker needs express written authorization from the customer, and needs to have his member firm approve the account in question as suitable for discretionary trading. Sometimes, less than scrupulous securities brokers will circumvent this policy and exercise discretion without receiving the necessary authorization.

Oakes & Fosher Can Help

Many investors are unaware of the legal recourse available to them after losing money due to securities broker fraud and/or negligence. The truth is that investors who have lost money in this fashion may actually be entitled to damages.

Oakes & Fosher dedicates its entire legal practice to helping investors across the nation. If you, or someone you know, have lost money investing with Eric Nichols, please contact Oakes & Fosher for a free and private consultation. Oakes & Fosher handles cases on a contingency basis, which means there are no fees charged unless we collect for you.