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Frost Out as Ladenburg Chairman

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Ladenburg Thalmann, which owns the Securities America and four other independent broker-dealers, says Dr. Phillip Frost has resigned as chairman. His replacement is President and CEO Richard Lampen.

Earlier this month, regulators filed fraud charges against Frost, a billionaire investor who is chairman and CEO of Opko Health, and others. According to the SEC complaint: “In every scheme, [investor Barry] Honig, and some combination of [four other investors] and Frost, either explicitly or tacitly agreed to buy, hold or sell their shares in coordination with one another, knowing that a pump and dump was in the offing that would allow them all to profit handsomely.”

But at least one IBD recruiter sees the fallout of the Ladenburg news on Securities America, Triad Advisors, KMS Financial Services, Investacorp and Securities Service Network — as well as their roughly 4,300 affiliated advisors — as being contained.

“Frost had more of a passive role, and Ladenburg was not built on one person, as was the case with Nicholas Schorsch at Realty Capital,” said Jon Henschen in an interview. “When things went awry there, everything started to crumble. That is not the case here with Frost and Ladenburg.”

Frost and the IBD parent firm “made a good decision to have him step down,” the recruiter explained. “Not having any open-ended legal situation is preferable.”

In a statement, Frost said, “I have decided to retire from the Ladenburg board and will concentrate my efforts on Opko Health and my philanthropic interests. As a long-term shareholder, I am confident in Ladenburg’s outlook and look forward to its continued growth and success.”

— Check out Best & Worst Broker-Dealers: Q2 Earnings 2018 on ThinkAdvisor.


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