Philip van Staden Involved in Complaint Over Conservation Easements


Philip van Staden (CRD# 4489166), a broker registered with Green Vista Capital, is involved in investor disputes stemming from conservation easements and private placement products. This information can be found in his Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) BrokerCheck report, accessed on June 29, 2023. The record notes that the True North Resources and Growth Point Advisors owner is based in Winter Park, Florida.

Disputes Concern Private Placements, Conservation Easements

According to FINRA records, two parties of investors filed disputes involving Mr. van Staden between August 2022 and May 2023. Between them, the claims allege a range of misconduct, including that he recommended unsuitable investments in conservation easements and private placements; that he breached his fiduciary duty to place the clients’ interests before his own; that he misrepresented and omitted material information regarding the investments he recommended; that he violated, and aided and abetted violations of, the Florida Securities and Investor Protection Act; and that he was negligent in his hiring, retention, and supervision practices.

The disputes, which remain pending, seek cumulative damages of $1,400,000.

Past Disputes Involving Philip van Staden Settled for 6 Figures

The above-described pending investor disputes are not the only ones listed on Mr. van Staden’s BrokerCheck report. He was also involved in two disputes filed in May 2021. Both of these claims alleged that he failed to conduct reasonable due diligence of unsuitable conservation easement investments, and that he misrepresented them to the claimants. His member firms settled the disputes for a total of $240,000.

Statements Defend Against Allegations

FINRA records include a “Broker Statement” regarding each of the above-described settled disputes. One of them reads that Green Vista Capital “settled with the clients to limit legal fees that would be incurred in the matter” and states that the claimants “To date… have suffered no loss or damages related to the investments at issue.” The other also states that the claimants have not suffered any loss or damages to date stemming from the investments in question.

Understanding FINRA Rule 2111

When an investor complaint alleges unsuitability, this means that the broker allegedly recommended products that were inappropriate for the customer’s profile, based on reasonable diligence into their background and objectives. This standard is established in FINRA Rule 2111, which prohibits brokers from recommending unsuitable investments or strategies, specifying that they must have a “reasonable basis to believe” that their recommendations are suitable. Importantly, the standard encompasses not only individual transactions, but also series of transactions: brokers may not engage in excessive trading or churning, for instance.

The suitability standard is less strict than the fiduciary duty upheld by investment advisers, which requires them to place their clients’ interests ahead of their own, disclose any conflicts of interest or potential conflicts of interest, and to act in good faith and with loyalty to their clients.

Philip van Staden’s Background, Experience, and Qualifications

van Staden began his career as a broker in 2003, when he joined G.A. Repple & Company’s office in Casselberry, Florida. He has been a broker with Green Vista Capital in Winter Park, Florida since 2018, before which he was a broker with The Strategic Financial Alliance in Winter Park. He has passed one state securities law exam, two general industry/products exams, and two principal/supervisory exams.

Call MDF Law with Complaints

If you have lost money investing with Philip van Staden and/or Green Vista Capital, you may be eligible to recoup your losses. The experienced securities attorneys at MDF Law boast an extensive record of success advocating for the victims of investment fraud, obtaining more than $100 million in recoveries for their clients. Our team offers free consultations nationwide and takes cases on a contingency basis, meaning clients only pay a fee when they win their case. Call 800-767-8040 to speak with an attorney today.

Print this Article