The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York entered final judgments against Benjamin Alderson, the former CEO of registered investment adviser deVere USA Inc., and Bradley Hamilton, a former deVere USA manager, in connection with alleged misstatements and omissions made to clients related to overseas pension transfers.
In a related administrative proceeding, the SEC permanently barred Alderson from the industry, with the right to re-apply after two years.
The SEC alleged that the defendants misled clients and prospective clients about the benefits of pension transfers while concealing material conflicts of interest, including the compensation that they stood to receive.
In June 2018, the SEC charged deVere USA with failing to disclose agreements with overseas product and service providers that resulted in compensation being paid to deVere USA advisers and an overseas affiliate.
The SEC claims that the undisclosed compensation, which included 7 percent of the pension transfer value, created an incentive for deVere USA to recommend a pension transfer.
Without admitting or denying the allegations of the SEC’s complaint, Alderson and Hamilton, consented to the entry of the final judgments.
Alderson was ordered to pay disgorgement of $265,000, prejudgment interest of $10,060, and a civil penalty of $125,000. Hamilton will pay disgorgement of $265,000, prejudgment interest of $10,060, and a civil penalty of $75,000.