A former UBS broker has won a two-year battle to expunge his termination notice from his public record after claiming the wirehouse defamed him and hurt his job prospects.
A panel of Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (Finra) arbitrators ruled Thursday that the circumstances of Brandon Mink’s termination from the wirehouse be expunged from his regulatory record.
UBS terminated Mink in October of 2016 after he allegedly used his personal email account to communicate with clients and responded to a client’s request while abroad, violating its policies.
The panel said that Mink’s ‘undisputed’ testimony showed that the termination had harmed his reputation, his financial situation and his ability to find work.
‘There was no opposing, or indeed any, testimony to show that expungement would outweigh investor protection concerns,’ the arbitrators said. ‘To the contrary, undisputed evidence shows that respondent Mink has not harmed any investors and any investor concerns were minimal.’
UBS filed a Finra arbitration claim against Mink in February of 2017, seeking to recoup around $810,000 from a series of promissory notes it had given to the broker. Mink filed a counterclaim two months later, alleging UBS defamed him by filing a false Form U5 about the reasons for his termination to Finra. Mink sought $1 million in compensatory damages and an additional $5 million in damages to address the alleged reputational harm he had suffered.
Finra records show UBS and Mink agreed to a settlement in February this year on all of the monetary claims both parties had filed. Mink’s lawyer, Michelle Atlas of AdvisorLaw, declined to comment on settlement terms.
A UBS spokesman also declined to comment.
These days, Mink runs his own hybrid RIA, Mink Wealth Management, which is affiliated with Spire Securities. The firm is based out of Vienna, Va.
‘I think [the message is] that if you put a value on your reputation, it’s well worth the time, patience and money for redemption at a minimum and truth and fairness at a higher level,’ Mink said in a statement issued through his lawyer.