In August of 2021 FINRA fined and suspended for one month Former Registered Rep Giordan Marc Zaro who had worked Merrill Lynch. It would appear from the rendition of facts that Mr. Zaro was terminated by his employer Merrill Lynch for sending "confidential and proprietary information to his personal email address." It would appear that as a result of such termination, which appeared to have been done before the Rep could leave on his own, Merrill had filed a U5 reflecting such action which presumably was for the purpose to solicit his clients after he arrived at his new firm. It would appear that the U5 termination filing then triggered a FINRA Enforcement investigation which led to the suspension and fine, accomplishing a lot more for Merrill than they could have accomplished without triggering a FINRA Enforcement Investigation, tarnishing the Rep's entire career. Zaro joined the financial services industry in January 2017 with AXA Advisors and left the the same year to join Merrill in February 2018. Since his discharge from Merrill, Zaro registered with Emerson Equity in March 2020, according to BrokerCheck. He moved to Invicta Capital in January of 2021, but he has since departed such firm and has not registered with another firm..
This series of events should be a wake-up call for any Rep thinking of departing their firm and what not to do in planning for such departure. Taking/transferring files out of the office without authorization to do so, even if temporarily, is seen as theft and a violation of FINRA's Code of Conduct. Departing employees should consult with a competent FINRA Attorney when changing firms so as to avoid mistakes such as this which have long term consequences.
I have advised hundreds of Registered Reps in the transition process of changing firms, so as to avoid all complications, arbitrations, and regulatory issues and to ensure a smooth transition.
If you are transitioning from one firm to another contact us for a free phone consultation at 212-764-3100.
Stuart D. Meissner Esq.
Stuart D. Meissner Esq. is an experienced FINRA attorney who has practiced law for over 27 years, including as a FINRA Attorney, Securities Regulator and Prosecutor.
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