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Broker-Dealers & Financial Services

Brattle experts have decades of practical industry experience and understand the nuances of the Broker-Dealer and Financial Service industries.

Brattle’s Broker-Dealer and Financial Services practice prides itself on the depth of experience and knowledge of its experts, which include former regulators, investigators, and industry professionals. Our clients include regulators, Fortune 500 companies, registered investment advisors, broker-dealers, banks, and investors. 

Brattle experts support clients across all stages of regulatory investigations and litigation and assist with a broad range of issues, including investment products and strategies, market regulation, retail sales practice and supervision, employment, and clearing. We are also well versed in analyzing damages and using statistical methods to address hindsight bias arising out of the under-performance of investments.

Our experts think creatively and work collaboratively with clients to help resolve complex disputes in this industry. 

Engagements
REPRESENTATIVE ENGAGEMENTS

Below is a list of representative engagements for our Broker-Dealers & Financial Services practice.

Complex municipal bond issuance

A Brattle expert testified for defendants in connection with a complex municipal bond financing package that included bond insurance, a remarketing agreement, a non-vanilla interest rate swap, and a swap counterparty surety bond. Testimony topics included contemporaneous municipal bond valuation and pricing, market custom and practice, foreseeability of various market events, municipal credit ratings, and municipal bond insurance.

Retail pension-to-defined benefit conversion cases

A Brattle expert testified for respondents in several disputes involving purported broker recommendations to convert pension plans into defined contribution plans. The testimony involved statistical analyses of the potential financial outcomes for specific claimants, quantification and analysis of market and credit risks, and appropriateness of various disclosures.

Structured notes and principal protected notes

A Brattle expert testified in several disputes involving high net worth individuals’ investments in various structured notes, including “principal protected notes.” Testimony topics included product market risks, issuer credit risk, and foreseeability of a note issuer’s (Lehman Brothers) demise; the 2007-2009 financial market crisis and the Federal Government response to the crisis; and product specific disclosures.

Alleged investment suitability violations

On behalf of a leading broker-dealer alleging investment suitability violations in a FINRA arbitration matter, Brattle identified and supported two experts: a custom and practice expert in the duties and responsibilities of a clearing broker and an economist providing damages testimony.

SEC v. Westport Capital Markets, LLC and Christopher E. McClure

In the case of SEC v. Westport Capital Markets, LLC and Christopher E. McClure, a Brattle Group Principal was retained by the SEC to provide an expert report and testimony on the dually-registered broker-dealer and investment advisor’s efforts to defraud its advisory clients. Our team examined the firm’s trading activities, the earnings that it received as a result of this illegal behavior, and its purchase of 12b-1 fee-paying share classes in mutual funds. A Connecticut federal court jury found in favor of the SEC, finding Westport Capital and its owner guilty of intentionally, knowingly, and recklessly defrauding its clients.

Experts
Brattle Experts & Consultants
Academic Advisors & Other Outside Experts
Torben G. Andersen
Academic Advisor
Northwestern University
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Michael A. Goldstein
Academic Advisor
Babson College
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James E. Hodder
Outside Expert
University of Wisconsin School of Business
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Gordon Klein
Outside Expert
University of California, Los Angeles, Anderson School of Management
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Juhani Linnainmaa
Outside Expert
Dartmouth College, Tuck School of Business
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John J. McConnell
Outside Expert
Purdue University, Krannert Graduate School of Management
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Paul Pfleiderer
Outside Expert
Stanford Graduate School of Business
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Suresh M. Sundaresan
Academic Advisor
Columbia University
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Michael S. Weisbach
Academic Advisor
The Ohio State University
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Publications
Article
News & Knowledge
May 21, 2020
How Might COVID-19 Affect the Financial Markets? Brattle Experts Share Insights

Brattle Principal Joseph Belanger, Associate Ryan Leary, and Senior Consultant Hollie Mason have authored an article for Wolters Kluwer’s Securities Regulation Daily and Banking and Finance Daily on the effect of COVID-19 on the financial markets.

March 23, 2020
Brattle Client Wins Favorable Judgment Against Dually-Registered Broker-Dealer and Investment Adviser Accused of Defrauding Clients

In a December 2017 filing in a Connecticut federal court, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) sued Westport Capital Markets LLC and its owner, Christopher McClure, for defrauding the firm’s advisory clients. The SEC retained Marti P. Murray, a principal at The Brattle Group, to opine on industry custom and practice for investment advisers, and to analyze certain aspects of Westport Capital’s transactions on behalf of advisory clients.

November 28, 2018
Chris Laursen to Present at PRMIA Financial Services Regulatory Forum

Brattle Principal Chris Laursen will speak at the Professional Risk Managers’ International Association (PRMIA) 2018 Financial Services Regulatory Forum, to be held November 28 in Washington, DC.