On August 9, 2018, FINRA issued a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent in which Thrivent Investment Management, Inc. (Thrivent) was censured. Without admitting or denying the findings, the firm consented to the sanctions and to the entry of findings that it failed to establish, maintain and enforce a supervisory system and written procedures designed to supervise mutual funds sales to ensure that eligible customers received the benefit of applicable sales charge waivers and breakpoint discounts.
According FINRA, during the investigation period (January 2011 – April 2016), Thrivent failed to reasonably supervise the application of sales charge waivers and available breakpoint discounts to eligible mutual fund sales. The firm relied on its financial advisors to determine the applicability of sales charge waivers and breakpoint discounts to eligible customers but failed to maintain written policies and procedures to make correct determinations. The different sales charges, breakpoint discounts, waivers and fees associated with different share classes impact mutual fund investors’ returns.
Per the Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent, Thrivent launched an internal investigation and as a result it returned a total of $855,465.04 (inclusive of interest) in restitution to customers, which represents the amount eligible customers were overcharged because of its deficiencies. An additional $16,157.75 (inclusive of interest) was returned to customers in restitution, which represents the overcharges for missed sales charge waivers.
It was unclear from FINRA’s announcement whether customers had initiated FINRA arbitrations or any other type of securities arbitrations. If you believe that you have suffered losses as a result of misconduct, you may contact David A. Weintraub, P.A. 7805 SW 6th Court, Plantation, FL 33324. By phone: 954.693.7577 or 800.718.1422.