Greenwich Wealth Management – Shady Past and Provisions
Greenwich Wealth Management is a financial advisory firm you should avoid at all costs. The firm seems innocent and genuine at first but it uses multiple unethical tactics to leech money off of its clients.
Also, its principal has been fined multiple times by regulators because of his carelessness and negligence. Furthermore, the firm has multiple mischievous terms in its agreements that can prove to be extremely detrimental to your financial growth.
If you’re considering working with this firm, it would be best to go through the following Greenwich Wealth Management review.
About Greenwich Wealth Management
Greenwich Wealth Management is a financial advisory firm based in Greenwich, Connecticut. Their address is 45 E Putnam Ave #128, Greenwich, CT 06830, US, and their contact number is 203-618-0103.
Michael Freeburg is the founding member of this firm while the managing director is Daniel Sullivan. Other notable people at this firm are Vahan Janjigian, the Chief Investment Officer, and Harry Figgie, Director and Wealth Advisor.
The firm claims to develop and manage custom-tailored investment portfolios for high-net-worth individuals, estates, families, charitable organizations, corporations, endowments, and trusts. Greenwich Wealth Management also offers third-party investment management and monitoring service to high-net-worth individuals, families, trusts, and corporations.
The firm claims to focus on the individual needs of every client, its disclosures tell a different story.
The disclosures of Greenwich Wealth Management have various conflicts of interest that make it extremely difficult to trust the recommendations of its advisors. For example, the firm makes more money when it puts its clients’ funds at a higher risk than required. More on this in the next section of the review:
Red Flags in Greenwich Wealth Management
Before you start working with any financial advisor, you should search for their name in the FINRA BrokerCheck database. There, you can find out about their qualifications, past employers, professional experience, and the legal disputes they have had in their careers.
Michael Freeburg, the founder, and principal of Greenwich Wealth Management has a very shady past. His FINRA BrokerCheck listing shows 4 legal disputes. Furthermore, is that all 4 of these disputes are actually regulatory proceedings and Michael was found guilty in all of them.
Did You Know?
BrokerCheck is a FINRA tool absolutely free for the help of investors and brokers. It can help you research the professional backgrounds of investment professionals, brokerage firms and investment adviser firms.
First Regulatory Action on Michael Freeburg
Commodity Exchange Inc initiated the first regulatory action against Michael in 1987. He and two other members of the Commodity Exchange took part in an altercation.
The authority suspended his trading privileges for two weeks and fined him $25,000.
Second Regulatory Action on Michael Freeburg
Commodity Exchange Inc initiated the second regulatory action against Michael in 1991. Here, he failed to ensure the submission of accurate trade execution times to the exchange and had to pay a $250 fine.
Third Regulatory Action on Michael Freeburg
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission took action against Michael in 1992 for reasons unknown. Freeburg settled the administrative action and accepted a conditional registration for 1 year.
The sanction of this administrative action was restricted registration for one year.
There is no additional information on this regulatory action.
Fourth Regulatory Action on Michael Freeburg
Michael faced his fourth regulatory action in 1997 from Commodity Exchange Inc. The allegation was an “unintentional prohibited bid” and he paid the required fine.
Again, there is no additional information on the regulatory action and the amount of fine he paid.
After facing so many regulatory proceedings, Michael Freeburg switched careers and stopped being a broker. This way, he can gain new clients without sharing his long history of facing regulatory action from the authorities.
In any case, this is not a good track record. It means the founder of Greenwich Wealth Management is careless and unprofessional. Furthermore, his firm has several shady provisions in its terms and conditions which make it more difficult to trust their recommendations.
Trading Recommended Securities
A huge drawback of working with Greenwich Wealth Management is that it can trade the investments it recommends to its clients. This doesn’t mean that they follow the trades they recommend to you. Instead, it means they can use your (and other clients’) funds to manipulate the returns of certain securities for themselves.
Trading recommended investments is among the biggest issues in private wealth management firms. Also, the minimum portfolio size of a Greenwich Wealth Management client is $1 million. With 100+ clients they can make noticeable changes in the performance of certain securities for their personal profits.
In most cases, the advisors trade the security before recommending it to their clients. It’s called front-running and is among the most unethical and notorious practices in the finance industry.
Having the option to trade recommended securities allows the advisor to abuse their clients’ funds. This is not good for any investor, particularly those with high-value portfolios.
Charging Hidden Fees
Another shady provision that makes things complicated for investors is that the advisors can offer you investments that charge 12b-1 fees. This is a marketing fee that companies pay to advisors for promoting their investment products.
The 12b-1 fee is a percentage fee so its size depends on the size of your portfolio. Furthermore, it allows the advisor to charge you hidden fees, increasing the investment costs for you that add up over the years.
Greenwich Wealth Management is a greedy and unreliable firm. Hence, you should look for other wealth management firms in Greenwich as this firm doesn’t seem to care about its clients’ growth and financial security.
Luckily, the wealth management industry has a plethora of options and you don’t have to stick with this one.
This firm has too many red flags to count. First, its leadership’s history is tainted with multiple legal conflicts. Furthermore, it has many terms and conditions that allow it to take advantage of its clients.
- Questionable leadership
- Faced multiple regulatory actions
- Trading recommended securities