Jefferies rep serving Nobel laureate suspended over customer loans

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A Jefferies representative who counts a billionaire and Nobel laureate among his clients has been suspended for four months for allegedly taking $7.3 million in undisclosed loans from them and other clients since 2013, announcing Finra today.

Theodore M. Serure, a former representative of JP Morgan Securities in New York, settled the case without admitting or denying accusations that he borrowed money from 16 longtime clients, including a billionaire, a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize and a former CEO. of a large financial institution. In addition to the suspension, he was ordered to pay a fine of $20,000.

Serure had $1.6 billion in assets under management three years ago, according to Forbes, which ranked him 35th on their “Best Wealth Advisors of 2019.”

He has worked at Jefferies LLC since being fired by JP Morgan in September 2019, according to BrokerCheck.

The loans were discovered during a regulatory review, Finra said, adding that none of the affected customers had filed a complaint with the regulator.

“Serure has never been indebted to its customers for more than $2 million since it has used a portion of the loan proceeds to repay previous customer loans. Serure has repaid all of the customer loans and none of the customers are s complained,” Finra said in the settlement.

All of the clients Serure allegedly borrowed money from between 2012 and 2020 were “wealthy and financially sophisticated”, Finra said. In fact, “Serure was close friends with every client for decades, some since childhood,” the regulator said.

Given his personal relationship with each of the clients, however, Finra regulations required Serure to notify his broker and obtain prior approval, which he did not do, Finra said.

Finra’s rules allow loans to customers where “the loan agreement is based on a personal relationship with the customer, such that the loan would not have been solicited, offered or granted if the customer and registrant had maintained a relationship outside of the broker-client relationship” provided that the registered representative notifies his broker and receives written approval before entering into the loan.

Serure was associated as a general securities representative at JP Morgan Securities from October 1979 until his involuntary termination in September 2019, according to his BrokerCheck filing.

A call made to a phone number listed on Serure was not immediately returned.

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