The Securities and Exchange Commission obtained final judgments against two former executives at independent advisory deVere USA, which had been charged in June 2018 with failing to disclose agreements with overseas product and service providers. Those agreements resulted in undisclosed compensation to deVere advisors and an overseas affiliate, including 7% of the pension transfer value.
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York entered the final judgments against former deVere CEO Benjamin Alderson and a former manager, Bradley Hamilton. Alderson was ordered to pay $400,000 in disgorgement, prejudgment interest and civil penalties, while Hamilton owes $350,000.
The SEC believes the compensation they received for the overseas transfers incentivized them to recommend a pension transfer and particular service providers.
“The SEC alleged that the defendants misled clients and prospective clients about the benefits of pension transfers while concealing material conflicts of interest, including the substantial compensation that they personally stood to receive,” the SEC said in a statement.
The regulator also issued an order this week barring Alderson from the industry, with a right to reapply after two years.