Stifel and Pittsburgh Broker Ordered to Pay Client $500K for Unsuitable Investments
A Financial Industry Regulatory Authority arbitration panel has ordered Stifel Financial and a Pittsburgh broker to pay $500,000 to a former customer who alleged the broker mishandled her accounts.
Her broker, John R. Lisowski, over-concentrated her portfolio in General Electric, Range Resources and U.S. Steel Corp. securities, made unauthorized options trades, engaged in excessive trading and also invested her unsuitably in Barrick Gold, Cliff’s Natural Resources, General Cable Corp., MannKind and ProShares’ UltraShort 20+ Year Treasury ETF, according to her claim.
The three public Finra arbitrators who rendered the decision posted on Tuesday denied Lanzo’s claim for $1.17 million in triple punitive damages under Pennsylvania law. As is customary, the arbitrators did not explain their decision.
They held Stifel and Lisowski jointly and severally liable for the $500,000 award.
A Stifel spokesman did not return a request for comment on the decision, or whether it would challenge the decision.
Lisowski, a 38-year brokerage veteran who joined Stifel predecessor Ryan Beck & Co. in 2002, according to his BrokerCheck history, did not return a call for comment.
The only other claim on his publicly available record is a customer request for $22,000 over his alleged failure to liquidate some securities in 2008. The firm denied the customer’s request.
Michael J. Betts, the lawyer who represented Lanzo in the Pittsburgh arbitration, did not return a call for comment.