UBS YES Clients of Broker William Cerf Want $16.5M in Damages

UBS Financial Services is Also a Defendant in New Class Action Lawsuit

If you are a UBS Financial Services customer who invested in the firm’s Yield Enhancement Strategy (UBS YES) at the recommendation of New York financial advisor, William Montgomery Cerf, you are not alone.

According to BrokerCheck, William Cerf is named in six pending customer disputes. The claimants are collectively requesting $16.5M in damages. He is also one among many UBS brokers who marketed and sold UBS YES as a low-risk way to generate modest income. This options overlay strategy has ended up costing wealthy investors millions of dollars.

Dozens of customer disputes, brought by investors in FINRA arbitration and litigation have been filed. The latter includes a class action securities lawsuit brought in December 2021 by investor Christian Dumonte.

This was on behalf of 1,500 investors that invested about $5.7B in the brokerage firm’s Yield Enhancement Strategy. Now, they want restitution, damages, and disgorgement of allegedly ill-gotten gains. UBS continues to manage its YES program for participating clients.

Our securities fraud lawyers at Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas (SSEK Law Firm) are representing investors in pursuing damages for their investment losses. Already, we have helped two investors recover $400K against the broker-dealer.

Pending Claims Against William Cerf: Broker Accused of Unsuitability and More

Below are some of the customer disputes that have been filed against William Cerf. Dating back to August 2019, these claims accuse the broker of acting negligently.

  • July 2020: This investor is requesting $1M in damages while alleging unsuitability and misrepresentations related to UBS YES.
  • June 2020: This claimant making similar allegations. They are seeking $700K in damages for their UBS YES losses.
  • February 2020: Requesting $2.2M in damages, this customer contends that misrepresentations were made and unsuitability involved related to investing and holding an options overlay strategy.
  • October 2019: This is another claim brought in FINRA arbitration. This claimant is requesting $5M in damages.
  • September 2019: This claimant is pursuing $7M in damages related to UBS YES.
  • August 2019: This is a $600K investor case involving UBS Yield Enhancement Strategy losses.

Cerf has been in the industry as a registered broker and/or investment advisor for 25 years. He used to work at Barclays Capital, Lehman Brothers, J.P. Morgan Securities, and Bear Stearns & Co.

UBS YES is Complex and Has Cost Investors Big Time

The UBS Yield Enhancement Strategy relies on both call and put options and uses margin accounts. In December 2018, UBS YES took a huge financial hit, causing an approximately $1.2B loss. Many investors were never apprised of the risks.

This included how vulnerable this options overlay strategy could be to market activities.

UBS Financial continues to maintain that it disclosed all key risks to customers. Yet according to the securities case, the firm “concealed the most material piece of information” that should have been provided so customers could make an informed choice. This was that  “expected losses during regularly occurring market activities” would eclipse “expected returns.”

IF you are a UBS YES investor, call (800) 259-9010 to speak with one of our skilled Yield Enhancement Strategy lawyers today. SSEK Law Firm represents investors nationwide.

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