Just because you have been honored and rewarded for ethical behavior in the past does not mean you are exempt from making mistakes going forward that can damage your reputation as well as your pocketbook.
Case in point: The events of the past year for James E. Moniz, MSFS, a financial consultant with Northeast Wealth Management in Braintree, Mass.
In May of 2013, Moniz qualified for the prestigious John Hancock Financial Network Hall of Fame by earning the company’s annual ACE (Achieving Client Excellence) award 15 times over the course of a career. The award highlights client excellence, personal ethics and integrity, and the ability to solve clients’ financial needs.
But in October of 2013, Moniz was terminated by John Hancock for conduct uncovered during an investigation by the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office.
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On Sept. 26, 2014, it was announced by Attorney General Martha Coakley that Boston-based John Hancock Life Insurance Company (U.S.A.), along with its subsidiary broker-dealer, has agreed to refund senior citizens in Massachusetts more than $550,000 to settle allegations that it failed to supervise one if its representatives—Moniz—permitting him to sell unsuitable variable life insurance policies, variable annuities, and other insurance and financial products.
Under the settlement, John Hancock, which didn’t admit wrongdoing and cooperated fully with the Attorney General’s investigation, will make 145 additional refund offers to consumers, primarily seniors, who purchased certain variable annuities and variable life policies from Moniz. The insurer also will pay $165,000 to the Commonwealth under the settlement.
According to the settlement, Moniz developed an association with a mortgage broker from a separate company to induce senior clients to take out reverse mortgages and invest the proceeds in unsuitable variable annuities. As a result of the Attorney General’s investigation, it is alleged that John Hancock unfairly failed to effectively supervise Moniz’s marketing and sales practices.