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Northstar Financial Services (Bermuda) Investor Seeks Up to $5M in Damages from Hancock Whitney Investment Services

Central American Retiree Worked with Louisiana-based Financial Advisor Robin Platt

In his Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration claim against Hancock Whitney Investment Services, Inc., a senior investor in Central America is seeking up to $5M in damages. The senior investor suffered losses when he invested $1.25M in Northstar Financial Services (Bermuda) at the recommendation of Hancock Whitney Investment Services broker, Robin Platt

The claimant, a longtime Hancock Whitney Bank client, had mostly invested in bank products and kept his money in checking/savings accounts. In 2016, Platt recommended the Bermuda-based investment, which would go on to make up the majority of the retiree’s portfolio. 

Our Northstar Financial Services (Bermuda) broker fraud attorneys at Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas (SSEK Law Firm at investorlawyers.com) are representing this investor in his FINRA arbitration claim against Hancock Whitney Investment Services.  

SSEK Law Firm works with US investors and investors abroad who suffered investment losses due to the negligent or fraudulent actions of US-based broker-dealers. Contact us at (800) 259-9010 or (713) 227-2400 if you too invested in Northstar (Bermuda) products.

Retiree Who Sought Asset Preservation Lost His Entire Principal 

This Central American investor had purposely set up bank accounts in the United States to keep his assets, which was the bulk of his savings and liquid net worth, safe from the volatility caused by the economic and political instability in the region where he lives.  

Yet, financial advisor Robin Platt went on to recommend a Northstar Financial Services (Bermuda) variable annuity — a product located offshore in Bermuda—to this retiree, even though there were other comparable US-based investments she could have recommended. 

It is important to note that generally a variable annuity (VA) is considered a safe, fixed income alternative. However, this Bermuda-based product didn’t provide the same protections as US-based variable annuities, which made it a riskier proposition.

The retiree, at Platt’s recommendation, made two different purchases of Northstar Financial Services (Bermuda) variable annuities, for a 7-figure total. 

This VA, specifically, was highly unsuitable for him given his age and risk tolerance level. Now, after losing his entire principal, this claimant is alleging unsuitability, misrepresentations and omissions, negligence, failure to supervise, breach of contract, and breach of other duties after suffering significant investment losses. 

Failure to Supervise, The Lure of Higher Commissions 

The supervisory deficiencies committed by Hancock Whitney Investment Services were inexcusable. It appears that Platt was self-supervised. Had there been proper supervision, there is no way that the firm would have approved an offshore investment for this customer. 

Not only that but there doesn’t seem to have been reasonable supervisory procedures set up by the broker-dealer to protect customers’ accounts from being overconcentrated in too much of one investment. 

Platt and other Hancock Whitney Investment Services registered representatives likely recommended and sold Northstar Financial Services (Bermuda) to other customers due to the fact that these investments paid:

  • Higher commissions
  • Bonuses
  • Remunerations

Along with other kinds of incentives to brokers that were more than what they would have earned from recommending more conventional bank/annuity products. 

Northstar Financial Services (Bermuda) Investors Are Left with Huge Losses 

Unfortunately, Northstar Financial Services (Bermuda) is no longer solvent and its owner, Greg Lindberg is in prison. After filing for bankruptcy protection last year, Northstar Financial Services (Bermuda) must liquidate.

Many investors who purchased Northstar Financial Services (Bermuda) products are scrambling to recoup their losses. 

SSEK Law Firm is representing a number of them in their FINRA arbitration cases against their broker-dealers, including a $500K customer dispute against J.P. Morgan Securities and another $500K investor claim against Truist Investment Services. 

There are also other broker-dealers that sold Northstar Financial Services (Bermuda), including Bankoh Investment Services and Ocean Financial Services. 

Contact us today if you believe that you suffered losses after investing in Northstar Financial Services (Bermuda) products.

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