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Regulation and Compliance > State Regulation > Massachusetts

'Roaring Kitty' Who's Pushing GameStop Is a Financial Advisor

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A screengrab of one of Roaring Kitty’s YouTube videos on investment. (Image via YouTube) A screengrab of one of Roaring Kitty’s YouTube videos on investment. (Image via YouTube)

A financial advisor and broker who most recently worked for MassMutual in Massachusetts has played a key role in the trading frenzy surrounding video game retailer GameStop.

Keith Patrick Gill, 34, is the person behind the Roaring Kitty YouTube streams that, combined with a string of posts by Reddit user DeepF***ingValue, drove a sudden increase in GameStop stock trading, slamming hedge funds that had bet against the struggling retailer, according to a Daily Mail Report on Thursday and a Reuters report on Friday. His tweets have attracted a large following also.

Although Gill’s report on the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s BrokerCheck website says he has been with MassMutual’s MML Investor Services from 2019 until the present, a MassMutual spokeswoman told ThinkAdvisor on Friday: “this individual is no longer employed by MassMutual.”

Gill’s Career Path

Gill has been in the financial services industry since he joined Campton, New Hampshire-based Lucidia in 2012, according to BrokerCheck. That firm’s status as a Securities and Exchange Commission-registered advisory firm was terminated in 2014, according to a report at the SEC’s website.

He joined a Boston branch office of Richmond, Virginia-based WealthForge Securities in 2016 but left it in 2017, according to BrokerCheck. WealthForge did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A more detailed BrokerCheck report on FINRA’s website notes he was also employed by LexShares in Boston from 2016 to 2017 and Debris Publishing in Campton from 2010 to 2019. LexShares did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Debris could not be reached for comment.

Gill is still registered as a broker but no longer an RIA, according to BrokerCheck, which lists no disclosures on his report.

In his social media posts and videos, Gill indicated multiple times that he was bullish on GameStop stock and thus may have helped persuade other investors to buy shares in the retailer’s stock.

Reuters identified Gill as Roaring Kitty through a company created by Gill that it said shared the same name and email as his Roaring Kitty YouTube account. The Daily Mail on Thursday also identified Gill as both Roaring Kitty and DeepF***ingValue.

WallStreetBets Link

Gill started sharing his bets with Reddit’s WallStreetBets group in September 2019, posting a portfolio screenshot showing he had invested $53,000 in the company and had already made a $46,000 profit, Reuters reported but said it was unable to confirm.

By Wednesday, Gill was up over 4,000% in stock and options investments in GameStop and his GME position plus cash was worth almost $48 million, Reuters reported, citing his Reddit posts. But Reuters said it could not independently verify his profits.

GameStop stock was up almost 30% Friday afternoon at $251. It peaked Thursday afternoon at $469, up from $65 on Friday, Jan. 22.

Is This Behavior Legal?

“As long as what [Gill] is saying is truthful and he’s not breaching his fiduciary duty to his clients (if he has some), I can’t think of a violation,” said Nicolas Morgan, a partner at the global legal defense firm Paul Hastings. “If he is making false statements or putting his interests ahead of clients, that’s a different situation.”

On his YouTube channel, where Gill does not identify himself by name or professional background, there is the following disclaimer: “The Roaring Kitty channel and live streams are for educational purposes only. I share my approach to investing in an effort to set you on the right path to building out your own investment process. I don’t provide personal investment advice or stock recommendations during the stream.”

The disclaimer continues: “Please understand that my style of investing is extremely aggressive and I take on a substantial amount of risk. It’s likely my approach would not be suitable for you. If you’re seeking personalized advice, I encourage you to sit down with a financial professional who can review your personal situation, financial background, risk tolerance, etc.”

In general, Morgan explains, saying you are bullish on a stock is not illegal, “depending on what he’s doing in the background.” If he were, say, being paid by GameStop to discuss its shares, that would be problematic.” Overall, though, people are free to do this [type of stock discussion] … but not to make false statements.”

News of Roaring Kitty’s identity broke about a day after Massachusetts Secretary of State Bill Galvin called for a 30-day suspension of GameStop stock trading “It’s dangerous not only to the investors, but it’s dangerous to the marketplace,” he said on CNBC Wednesday.

– Janet Levaux contributed to this report.

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