From the December 2008 issue of Investment Advisor • Subscribe!

B/D Briefings News & Products

Ameriprise Financial, Inc. announced that it has completed its all-cash acquisition of H&R Block Financial Advisors from H&R Block. The more than 950 H&R Block advisors will become Ameriprise Financial-branded employee advisors. With this acquisition, Ameriprise Financial now has more than 12,000 total advisors across all its platforms. The transaction is also expected to add approximately 365,000 client accounts and $27.5 billion in client assets. The transaction is expected to be accretive to earnings per share and return on equity in early 2010...

FINRA has imposed a $250,000 fine against J.P. Turner & Company, LLC of Atlanta, for "failing to have an adequate supervisory system designed to ensure that its registered representatives charged customers fair and reasonable commissions on stock trades." FINRA found that between January 2002 and March 2005, under J.P. Turner's system and procedures, representatives had discretion to establish the commission on such transactions, limited only by whether the price of the security was above or below $25 per share. On all equity securities transactions in which the price of the security was below $25, registered representatives were allowed to charge up to 4.5%, while they could only charge up to 3.5% if the price of the security was above $25. During the review period, 91% of the firm's equity securities transactions involved securities priced below $25 per share. As part of the settlement, FINRA ordered J.P. Turner to retain, at its own expense, an independent consultant to conduct a comprehensive review of the adequacy of the firm's policies, systems, procedures, and training relating to FINRA's Fair Pricing Rule.

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