The NASD fined Oppenheimer & Co. $800,000 on Wednesday for failing to timely and accurately report 6,100 municipal securities transactions between January 2003 and May 2004, as well as not responding to the regulator’s request for information in September 2004.
Oppenheimer also failed to retain business-related internal e-mail sent by 20 employees who traded the municipal securities, the NASD said.
In addition to the fine, the NASD is requesting Oppenheimer to retain outside counsel to review its supervisory policies regarding reporting municipal securities transactions.
“Firms must respond timely and completely to regulatory requests, report transactions timely and accurately, and maintain business-related electronic communications,” said James S. Shaorris, executive vice president and head of enforcement at the NASD. “Oppenheimer repeatedly failed to comply with these fundamental regulatory obligations.”
In settling with the NASD, Oppenheimer neither admitted nor denied the charges. However, the company issued a statement saying the errors occurred due to “rapid expansion of the firm,” noting that between September 2001 and June 2003, the firm acquired four companies. “As a result of this rapid growth, the Company had not yet put in place all of the processes and procedures for the management of its larger business,” Oppenheimer said.
Separately, the firm still faces NASD charges that it and its chief executive officer intentionally submitted inaccurate reports about its breakpoint practices.