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Ex-Ameriprise Rep Suspended for Raising Client Money for Friend’s Firm

By Alex Padalka June 1, 2020

Finra says it has suspended and fined a former Ameriprise Financial broker who allegedly raised money for a friend’s company among the firm’s clients without notifying Ameriprise. 

Robert Nicholas Korzik, who’s been in the financial services industry since 1981, joined Ameriprise as a general securities representative in 2011, according to a letter of acceptance, waiver and consent published by the industry’s self-regulator. Between September and December 2016, Korzik allegedly convinced three Ameriprise customers, identified only as “RS,” “JS” and “AN,” to invest around $550,000 in an energy company identified only as “AEC,” whose CEO was Korzik’s friend, identified only as “JB,” without prior authorization from Ameriprise, Finra says. Korzik himself had invested $50,000 in the firm, according to the letter of acceptance.

Additionally, an email Korzik allegedly sent to potential investors, including Ameriprise clients, violated Finra’s content standards for communicating with the public, the industry’s self-regulator says. 

Korzik also allegedly circulated the AEC investment offering, scheduled and participated in several meetings with his clients and JB, and engaged in email exchanges with JB about the amount of money the clients would invest, according to the letter of acceptance.

Ameriprise filed a Form U5 termination notice in October 2017, saying that Korzik had violated company policy in regard to private securities investments, Finra says.

Last week, Korzik consented to a nine-month suspension and to pay an $8,500 fine, without admitting or denying the findings, according to the letter of acceptance.

Aside from the employment separation and the Finra suspension, Korzik has one other disclosure on his 35-year record with Finra — a pending customer dispute claiming Korzik breached his fiduciary duty in managing the claimants’ accounts between 2011 and 2018 because they were not appropriately diversified or monitored and that “one or both of the individual respondents engaged in unauthorized trading,” according to BrokerCheck. Korzik says in the broker comment section that the “named individual respondents anticipate vigorously defending this matter.”

Since his discharge from Ameriprise, Korzik has not registered with another firm, according to BrokerCheck. 

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Tags:  Regulatory/legal issues , Investment strategies , Ameriprise

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