Former Huntington Investment Company Financial Advisor, Wessam Baiz, Barred By FINRA After Refusing To Comply With Investigation Into Undisclosed Outside Business Activity
Wessam Baiz (CRD # 6501692) was a Financial Advisor at the Huntington Investment Company in Perrysburg, OH. Wessam Baiz has been in the securities industry since 2015 and previously worked at MML Investors Services, LLC.
According to publicly available records released by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), in October 2019, Wessam Baiz was barred by FINRA for refusing to “provide information and documents requested by FINRA. The findings stated that Baiz’s member firm terminated his association and indicated on his Form U5 that he failed to meet the terms and expectations of a heightened supervision plan he was placed on by the firm for failure to disclose an outside business activity.”
For a copy of the FINRA sanction, click https://www.finra.org/sites/default/files/fda_documents/2018059632301%20Wessam%20Baiz%20CRD%206501692%20AWC%20va.pdf.
FINRA Rule 3270 prohibits associated persons from engaging in outside business activities that are not disclosed and approved by the employing brokerage firm. The primary purpose of the rule is to ensure that Financial Advisors do not engage in selling away. FINRA strictly prohibits Financial Advisors from “selling away” or selling securities and investments to clients that are not offered by the brokerage firm with which they are employed. For example, it is illegal and a violation of industry rules for a Financial Advisor to recommend or even suggest that a client invest in the Financial Advisor’s own business or a business operated by his or her friends or family. It is not necessary that the Financial Advisor earn any compensation for recommending an outside investment.
The purpose behind this prohibition is to ensure that a Financial Advisor only offers to sell securities that have been vetted by his or her employer brokerage firm through a rigorous due diligence process. Most brokerage firms have an approved list of investments, products, and research that can be provided or made available to clients. Any deviation by the Financial Advisor from the approved product list may constitute selling away.
For a copy of Wessam Baiz’ CRD, click https://brokercheck.finra.org/individual/summary/6501692#disclosuresSection.
Financial advisors have a legal and regulatory obligation to recommend only suitable investments that are appropriate for their clients’ needs and objectives. Their employing brokerage firm has a legal and regulatory obligation to supervise the Financial Advisors’ sales practices and dealings with clients. To the extent any of these duties are breached, the customer may be entitled to a recovery of his or her investment losses.
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