Ross Berman Fired by Merrill Lynch in Florida

Red Flag of Danger

On February 15, 2023, Merrill Lynch ended its associated with Florida broker Ross Berman (CRD #4355980) and reported details of the termination to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, or FINRA.  Berman is not currently licensed with any other FINRA member firm.  This information was last accessed from FINRA on March 9, 2023.     

MDF Law is interested in speaking with customers of Mr. Berman who may be interested in pursuing lawsuits against Merill Lynch to recover investment losses.  Please call 800-767-8040 to learn more or complete the form below.

Merrill Lynch Terminates Ross Berman

On February 15, 2023, Merrill Lynch discharged Ross Berman.  It disclosed the following as the reason for the discharge, “conduct involving entering into a financial arrangement with a client.”  The allegation against Mr. Berman following a December 1, 2020 investor complaint involving damages of $550,000.  That customer alleged “unsuitable investment recommendations from 2018 until 2020.”

Types of Financial Arrangements Prohibited by FINRA

FINRA has strict rules governing the financial arrangements between brokers and their clients to ensure that brokers act in the best interests of their clients and avoid any conflicts of interest. Some of the key FINRA rules related to financial arrangements with clients include:

  1. Prohibition on Sharing in Customer Accounts: Brokers are generally prohibited from sharing in the profits or losses of their customers’ accounts, with a few limited exceptions, such as receiving a portion of profits in a managed account or performance-based fee arrangement.
  2. Commissions and Markups: Brokers must disclose any commissions or markups they charge on securities transactions to their clients. These charges must be fair and reasonable and cannot be excessive.
  3. Gifts and Gratuities: Brokers are prohibited from giving gifts or gratuities to clients that are excessive or could be seen as an attempt to influence the client’s decision-making.
  4. Borrowing and Lending: Brokers are generally prohibited from borrowing or lending money to their clients, unless the transaction meets certain conditions and is approved by the broker-dealer.
  5. Outside Business Activities: Brokers must disclose any outside business activities they engage in that could potentially create a conflict of interest with their brokerage clients.

Will Merrill Lynch provide further details to me?

Probably not.  FINRA guidance requires brokerage firms to “communicate clearly, and without obfuscation, when asked questions by customers about the departing registered representative.”  In practice, customers are rarely provided with any information beyond the written disclosure contained on Form U5. 

What Should I do if I Lost Money with Ross Berman?

If you lost money investing, you may be able to sue Merrill Lynch recover your investment losses.  These lawsuits are usually handled through binding arbitration before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, or FINRA.  Our attorneys exclusively represent investors in FINRA arbitrations nationwide and have helped investors recover over $100 million.  If you or someone you know has more questions, please contact Attorneys Marc Fitapelli or Jeffrey Saxon by calling 800-767-8040.   

Print this Article