Sales of structured products have greatly increased in the last several years as investment professionals began to introduce these products, which were designed for institutional investors, into the retail market. Such structured products include equity linked notes, i.e. securities issued by a brokerage firm and traded in secondary markets like stock. Such investments can be too complex for retail investors and even for registered representatives to understand. In addition to being very complex, they often offer benefits to investors that are already available in the form of less risky, less complicated and less costly investments.
FINRA has issued notices to members concerning such non-conventional retail investments, emphasizing the obligations of registered representatives to fully explain these products to customers, make sure customers understand them and that they are suitable for customers. Because of the complexity of the products and how the investment professionals are compensated (which is often over and above a more conventional investment alternative) such products are ripe for abuse.
The Firm has represented investors in structured product claims against various financial institutions.