Voya Financial Advisors will pay a total of $22.9 million to settle charges that it allegedly failed to disclose 12b-1 fees charged to clients, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission order.
The firm also allegedly made misleading statements regarding investment advice it provided to clients about mutual funds, illiquid alternative investments and cash sweep vehicles, the SEC said Monday.
The firm’s violations of antifraud provisions and the compliance rule of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 occurred from January 2013 until December 2018, the regulator claimed.
Voya also agreed to a cease-and-desist order, to be censured, and to comply with certain undertakings, including the retention of an independent compliance consultant and to return funds to affected investors, according to the SEC.
This development came on the heels of news that Transamerica Financial Advisors, another insurer-owned advisory firm like Voya, recently agreed to pay $8.8 million in restitution and fines to settle claims that it failed to provide adequate supervision of registered representatives in connection with the sale of variable annuities, mutual funds and 529 plans, according to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.
Without admitting or denying the findings, Voya will disgorge $11.5 million plus prejudgment interest of $2.4 million and will also pay a civil penalty of $9 million, the SEC said.