In a final consent judgment, Benjamin Alderson, the former CEO of registered investment adviser deVere USA Inc., and Bradley Hamilton, a former manager at the firm, each agreed to pay disgorgement of $265,000 and civil penalties of $125,000 and $75,000, respectively, for misleading clients.
The Securities and Exchange Commission, which brought the case, charged that the two executives made material misstatements and omissions to clients and prospective clients to whom they recommended overseas pension transfers.
Specifically, the SEC said that deVere USA failed to disclose agreements with overseas product and service providers that resulted in compensation being paid to the firm’s advisers and an overseas affiliate. The SEC order found that the undisclosed compensation — including an amount equivalent to 7% of the pension transfer value — created an incentive for deVere USA to recommend a pension transfer and particular product or service providers that were obligated to make payments.
In a related administrative proceeding, the SEC issued an order permanently barring Alderson from the securities industry.
In June 2018, deVere USA agreed to pay an $8 million civil penalty in connection with the case.
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