Panel Orders Fired UBS Broker to Return $730,000 of Signing Bonus
UBS Wealth Management was able to recoup the unvested portion of a promissory note it used to lure a former Morgan Stanley broker after the advisor was fired last year, according to an award published by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority on Thursday.
A Finra arbitrator awarded UBS $730,000 that the New Jersey-based broker owed after he was discharged in November for failing to disclose that he had been charged with drunken-driving on his U4 registration documentation and for another policy violation, according to Finra’s BrokerCheck database.
Ron Cole, who had been a registered representative for 22 years, had been with a UBS Financial Services wealth management branch in Paramus for five years. The arbitrator ordered Cole to pay $13,000 in attorney’s fees in addition to the $730,000 balance on forgivable loans and interest tied to promissory notes he signed when he was hired.
As is typical in arbitration awards, the panelist did not provide an explanation for the decision but said that Cole never responded to requests to appear at the arbitration or respond to UBS’s claim.
Cole, who is not currently registered with a firm, did not respond to a request for comment via LinkedIn. The only other disclosure on his record is a customer complaint in 2010 that sought $500,000 in damages for unauthorized trading but was settled for $24,000, according to BrokerCheck.
The wirehouse veteran worked for a decade at Merrill Lynch at the start of his career, joined Morgan Stanley in 2004 and jumped to UBS in 2010, according to BrokerCheck. A UBS spokesman and a lawyer who represented the firm did not respond to a request for comment.