New York Stockbroker and Investment Advisor is Accused of Misrepresentations and Unsuitability
Eric Andrew Wittenberg, a managing director and private wealth advisor at UBS Group AG (UBS) in the New York metropolitan area, is being blamed by a number of the firm’s customers for investment losses they suffered after he recommended the UBS Yield Enhancement Strategy (YES) to them.
Wittenberg is one of many UBS registered representatives named in Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration claims over this program.
Nationwide, Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas (SSEK Law Firm) is representing investors in their UBS YES Strategy cases against the firm and its brokers and investment advisors. Over the years, we’ve successfully pursued a number of securities claims against UBS Financial Services, recovering damages on our clients’ behalf. Contact our investment fraud attorneys today.
Pending Customer Disputes Involving Eric Wittenberg
According to Wittenberg’s BrokerCheck record, there are at least three pending customer disputes involving him:
- 5/2020: This customer is seeking $420K in damages over losses allegedly suffered by investing in the Yield Enhancement Strategy program. Wittenberg is accused of unsuitability and misrepresentation. Wittenberg denies the allegations.
- 8/2019: This investor is requesting $1M in damages and makes similar allegations of misrepresentations and unsuitability related to UBS broker Eric Wittenberg’s recommendation to invest in and hold the firm’s options overlay strategy.
- 4/2019: This UBS YES Strategy investor is seeking $400K in damages.
An earlier customer dispute, brought in 2002 and alleging lack of diversification in the investor’s portfolio, was denied. Another claim, from 2001, seeking $265K for failure to trade, was withdrawn.
Eric Wittenberg has worked in the industry for 32 years. Other firms where he used to be a broker include Credit Suisse (CS), Wachovia Securities, Salomon Smith Barney, Inc., Oppenheimer & Co., (OPY), Smith Barney, Harris Upham & Co., and Advest Inc.
Investors Have Lost Tens of Millions of Dollars in UBS YES Strategy
UBS brokers promoted the firm’s Yield Enhancement Strategy program as low risk to customers. In fact, hundreds of investors have since lost tens of millions of dollars in this options overlay investment strategy. These losses only grew in the wake of the market volatility caused by COVID-19 this year.
The firm’s YES Strategy’s options overlay strategy, known as an iron condor strategy, uses four options trades that are related to an underlying stock index. These trades have identical expiration dates but different strike prices. It is at the strike price that a “call” option owner can elect to buy an underlying security and the “put” option owner may choose to sell one.
During more stable times, positive returns can happen from the UBS YES Strategy. However, losses may occur during periods of significant index fluctuation.
Now, many UBS YES Strategy investors are claiming that they were never fully apprised of the benefits and risks involved. A number of customers contend that this options overlay strategy was unsuitable for their portfolio and should never have been recommended to them.
This investment strategy is marketed to the firm’s high net worth customers. The firm encouraged its brokers to aggressively tout this strategy to customers.
UBS YES Strategy Lawyers
If you sustained losses from UBS YES Strategy while working with broker Eric Wittenberg or another registered representative, SSEK Law Firm would like to offer you a free, no-obligation, case consultation to help you explore your legal options. Contact us today.