Trident Partners Ltd. has submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent (AWC) in which it has been censured and fined $50,000 by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for failing to adequately supervise the sales and suitability of steepeners, a complex, structured product.
Trident Partners, headquartered in Woodbury, New York, was found by FINRA to have failed to establish, maintain, and enforce a supervisory system to ensure that recommendations for its sale of steepeners were suitable. Steepeners are complex, structured products that are typically longer-term notes and certificates of deposit with maturities spanning from 10-30 years. They are typically callable by the issuers after a short, pre-specified time. They pay higher interest rates, but if the steepener is not called after a year, the rates can drop to as low as zero, earning no returns for the remainder of the term. FINRA found that during the relevant period, steepeners were a significant part of Trident Partners’ business, with approximately 1,600 transactions and accounting for at least 10% of commissions generated. Continue reading →