KURT JASON GUNTER (CRD#: 2747789), a broker formerly with Stifel, Nicolaus & Company of Austin, Texas, has been fined $10,000.00 and was suspended for 3 months (12/21/2020 – 3/20/2021) by FINRA. Gunter was also listed with Wells Fargo Clearing Services in Bee Cave, Texas, until recently.
Without admitting or denying FINRA’s findings, KURT JASON GUNTER, consented to the sanctions and to the entry of findings that he allegedly engaged in an unsuitable pattern of short-term trading of Unit Investment Trusts (UIT) in client accounts.
FINRA’s findings stated that Gunter allegedly recommended that his clients roll over a UIT before its maturity date to purchase a subsequent series of the same UIT, which usually had the same or similar investment objectives and strategies as the prior series.
According to FINRA, KURT JASON GUNTER‘s recommendations allegedly caused his clients to incur unnecessary sales charges and were unsuitable in view of the frequency and cost of the transactions. Gunter’s clients received reimbursement of the excess sales charges from his member firm in connection with FINRA’s separate settlement with the firm.
FINRA’s findings also stated that KURT JASON GUNTER allegedly signed switch letters that were sent to clients that contained inaccurate or missing information about the costs that they incurred as a result of early rollovers of UITs. Although Gunter verbally notified clients of the costs of UITs, 96 of the UIT switch letters that Gunter signed and were sent to clients, allegedly either contained inaccurate information about the costs clients incurred in connection with their early UIT rollovers, or failed to specify the costs.
According to a recent article in Financial Advisor IQ, from July of 2013 through December of 2016, KURT JASON GUNTER, allegedly recommended that his clients roll over UITs more than 100 days before they matured on at least 270 occasions according to FINRA. FINRA states that UITs offer investors shares in a fixed portfolio of securities through a one-time public offering and typically terminates after 15 or 24 months. This product can also come with a variety of upfront sales charges, so the broker who recommends selling them before maturity and buying new UITs with the sale proceeds can cause the client to pay more sales charges than if they just kept the original UIT. FINRA stated that “short-term trading of UITs may be improper.”
According to FINRA’s BrokerCheck, KURT JASON GUNTER has been in the securities industry for 23 years and was registered both as a broker and as an investment advisor. Gunter has been listed with 8 firms and the most recent are listed below:
08/18/2017 – 12/02/2020 WELLS FARGO CLEARING SERVICES, LLC – BEE CAVE, TX
06/21/2013 – 08/25/2017 STIFEL, NICOLAUS & COMPANY, INC. – AUSTIN, TX
If you have experienced losses, particularly in UITs, due to the actions or recommendations of former STIFEL, NICOLAUS & COMPANY, INC. of AUSTIN, TX, broker, KURT JASON GUNTER, contact Soreide Law Group and speak to an experienced securities lawyer at no cost regarding the possible recovery of your financial losses through a FINRA arbitration at: 888-760-6552.
Soreide Law Group works on a contingency fee basis and represents clients nationwide before FINRA.