The law firm of Oakes & Fosher is presently investigating the alleged misconduct of former securities broker John Hardin Alexander. According to his publicly available FINRA BrokerCheck report, John Hardin Alexander has been the subject of a customer dispute and a FINRA sanction.

John Hardin Alexander was a Georgia based securities broker. He worked in the securities industry for thirteen years. During his career, he was registered with two different securities firms.

His Registrations

  • Morgan Keegan & Company (2004-2013)
  • Raymond James (2013-2017)

The Allegations

  • In May 2017, a customer alleged that John Hardin Alexander excessively traded their account and charged them excessive commissions. This case was settled for $85,000 in damages.
  • In July 2019, John Hardin Alexander was officially sanctioned by FINRA. The findings in this matter state that he engaged in discretionary trading in the accounts of one of his customers. He also allegedly lied to his member firm regarding his discretionary activities. He had been terminated from his position at Raymond James two years prior when the allegations first came to light. Due to these alleged actions, he was fined $7,500 and suspended from acting as a securities broker in any fashion for a period of sixty business days.

What is Discretion?

Securities brokers like John Hardin Alexander are required to obtain their customers’ authorization before executing trades on their behalf. Even though investors hire securities brokers, this does not mean they have forfeited their right to decide for themselves what securities they want to be invested in. Rather, the job of the securities broker is to recommend investments to customers. However, there is a trading practice known as discretion where securities brokers can execute trades on an investor’s behalf without having to obtain their authorization. Before a securities broker can begin discretionary trading, they must first receive express written permission from the account holder. The broker’s member firm must also accept the account in question as suitable for discretionary trading.

Discretion can be a very slippery slope for investors due to the amount of power it gives to the broker. Securities brokers exercising discretion can often place investors in investments they are not financially suited for or trade the customer’s account to an unsuitable frequency–both of which can cause serious financial harm to the investor.

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 John Hardin Alexander, please contact Oakes & Fosher for a free and private consultation.