Ex-Ameriprise Supervisor Clears 15-year-old Nuisance Complaint
Steven Jablonski waited 15 years before filing an arbitration to remove the single blotch on his 25-year record, but six months later he has a clean slate.
Jablonski spent the first 17 years of his career as a Philadelphia-area broker with Ameriprise Financial Services and its IDS and American Express Financial Advisor predecessors. Back in 2005, a woman filed a claim for $45,000 alleging that the firm gave her a faulty financial plan that caused portfolio losses, charged unreasonable advisory fees and commissions and assessed unnecessary exit fees, according to Jablonski’s BrokerCheck record.
Jablonski, now an independent broker and RIA affiliated with USA Financial Securities, filed a Finra arbitration complaint in March seeking to have the complaint expunged. A single arbitrator this week accepted his argument.
“Claimant supervised 15 to 20 brokers and was the only broker in the office authorized to run the Ameriprise Assets Allocation Model System,” arbitrator Joseph Dougherty wrote in his October 4 decision. “As the Claimant had no personal contact with the investor, he could only rely on the information that the broker provided to him to prepare the asset allocation plan….[He] did not personally recommend any specific investment vehicle or investment allocation to the investor.”
The decision that the claim was false was based on Jablonski’s telephonic testimony, his BrokerCheck report and pleadings from his lawyer, Brian Luther of FA Expungement in Denver, according to the award processed through Finra on Monday. (The arbitrator noted that he could not review the underlying settlement because its origins in 2005 put it beyond Ameriprise’s document retention period.)
The arbitration was filed as a Finra special proceeding for simplified cases, the customer did not oppose the expungement request and Jablonski sought a token $1 in damages to qualify for a lower filing fee (an option Finra is eliminating, pending SEC approval). But brokers and lawyers said his long delay in cleaning his record was understandable given legal costs and time expended.
Jablonski, who practices at Informed Family Financial Services in Norristown, PA, did not return a request for comment.