Azmi Sharif Terminated by LPL Over Outside Business Activities
On December 20, 2022, LPL Financial announced it terminated Azmi Sharif (CRD # 2343413). Mr. Sharif previously worked for LPL Financial in Elmhurst, Illinois. He is also affiliated with Sharif Wealth Strategies, Inc. This article is based on information that was gathered from FINRA BrokerCheck as of March 9, 2023.
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December 2022: LPL Terminates Azmi Sharif
On December 20, 2022, LPL Financial discharged Mr. Sharif with the following announcement, “[i]nadequte disclosure of outside business activity. Participated in private investments without notice to firm.” Mr. Sharif provided the following comment, “the settlement was made without any admission of liability whatsoever and to avoid the prospect of arbitration. Neither I nor my affiliated broker dealer contributed financially to the settlement.”
July 2022: $500,000 Settlement
The settlement referenced in Azmi Sharif’s comment is a July 5, 2022 settlement for $500,000. According to FINRA, the settlement was made to resolve allegations related to unsuitability and misrepresentations of private placement investments. Mr. Sharif provided the following public comment, “The settlement was made without any admission of liability whatsoever and to avoid the prospect of arbitration. Neither I nor my affiliated broker dealer contributed financially to the settlement.”
Azmi Sharif Accused of Violating FINRA Rule 3270
FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) Rule 3270 governs Outside Business Activities (OBAs) for registered persons associated with a FINRA member firm. The rule requires that registered persons provide prior written notice to their firm before engaging in any outside business activity.
An OBA is defined as any business activity outside the scope of the registered person’s relationship with the member firm. Examples of OBAs may include serving as an officer, director, or partner of another business, working in a second job, or participating in any other business activity for compensation.
FINRA Rule 3270 requires registered persons to provide written notice to their firm of any proposed OBA and obtain approval from the firm before engaging in the activity. The notice should include a description of the activity, the person’s role, and whether it will be performed for compensation. The firm must then evaluate the proposed OBA to determine whether it could interfere with the person’s responsibilities to the firm or create a conflict of interest.
How do Brokerage Firms Disclose Terminations?
Under FINRA Rule 1122, brokerage firms must notify FINRA when a financial advisor or stockbroker is no longer associated or employed by them. When LPL Financial ended their association with Azmi Sharif on February 15, 2023 the firm filed a document called “Form U5” with FINRA. The purpose of this filing is to notify FINRA, the Securities and Exchange Commission and state securities regulators that an individual is no longer associated with a brokerage firm regardless of the reason.