TAG | improperly briefing clients by brokers on products
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In a January 25th., 2012, article from InvestmentNews.com, the staff writes that Former Boston Red Sox catcher and two-time World Series winner Doug Mirabelli, who made a nice career of being the preferred backstop to knuckleballer Tim Wakefield, finally saw a pitch even he couldn’t handle.
In March 2008, the same month he was released by the Red Sox, Mirabelli and his wife invested $880,219 with Bank of America Merrill Lynch adviser Phil Scott and took out loans that brought their account value to $1.8 million, according to an article in The New York Times. Scott put the money into the Merrill Lynch Phil Scott Team Income Portfolios, a bundle of 33 dividend-paying growth stocks. The loans were made on the condition that the account not dip below $1 million.
The InvestmentNews.com article goes on to say that by November, the Mirabellis’ account had dropped below that level, and they liquidated it to cover the loans. The Mirabellis argued in arbitration that Scott had put his client’s money into unsuitable, all-growth-stock investments and improperly briefed the couple on the loans and their requirements.
This arbitration panel ruled in favor of the Mirabellis and awarded them $1.2 million to cover their initial investment, plus all legal fees and arbitration costs. This was the second defeat for Scott in the last 12 months, according to The New York Times article. Merrill has moved to vacate the previous award and it’s unclear if they will do the same with Mirabelli’s.
“We disagree with the panel’s decision given the facts presented in this case,” said Bill Halldin, a spokesman for Merrill. “This account was handled properly during a very difficult time when there was extreme market volatility.”
Doug Mirabelli, 41, earned roughly $7 million over a dozen seasons. He now works as a real estate agent in Michigan.
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