John Batista Bocchino, a registered rep at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, has been barred from the industry for making $190 million in Venezuelan bond trades without the firm’s knowledge. The firm prohibits its reps from making such trades due to their regulatory, anti-money laundering and reputational risks, according to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. To conceal the trades and the underlying identities of his clients, Bocchino used nominee accounts in the names of well-known U.S. financial institutions. Three of his clients were not customers of Morgan Stanley and one previously had its account frozen by the firm, FINRA said.
Amber Hill-Donhauser, president of the Hill Financial Group in Niagara Falls, New York, is running for one of three city council seats this November. Hill-Donhauser, who holds financial literacy seminars at the Niagara Falls Public Library and free classes for apprentices at the Local 9 union hall on handling finances, is believed to be the first Native American woman to run for a council seat, according to the Niagara Gazette. She's running against six other candidates for the seats, pledging that her campaign "isn't politics as usual." Instead, she says she'll bring her leadership aptitude and private sector financial background to combat the issues of the city, the newspaper reports.
Shareholders Service Group has entered into a new partnership with Advicent to bring Advicent’s technology stack, including the NaviPlan financial planning software and the Narrator client portal, to the 1,500 advisory firms that use SSG’s brokerage and custodial services. In a statement, SSG president Dan Skiles said the partnership was made to broaden technology available to advisors and named the scalability of NaviPlan, as well as the recent enhancements made, as reasons he selected Advicent. After an extended trail period of free access to the technology, RIAs who conduct business with SSG will get a “substantial discount” on Advicent’s tools.