UBS Yes Strategy Lawsuit 2019

UBS Yes Strategy Lawsuit

Palm Beach, FL – Investors have filed a UBS Yes Strategy Lawsuit. Haselkorn & Thibaut, P.A., a law firm of former Wall Street defense lawyers, dedicated to handling investment loss recovery cases and representing investors nationwide, continues to investigate UBS in connection with their sales practices related to Yield Enhancement Strategies (“YES”). 

UBS appears to have employed YES strategies for clients nationwide through Flatiron Partners, a private wealth management team operating within the UBS Private Wealth management division, consisting of:  Matthew Stern Buchsbaum (CRD# 2220565), Scott Michael Rosenberg (CRD# 2754292), Sonia Maria Attkiss (CRD# 2936806) and Gerard Joseph Costello (CRD# 1551511) (referred to as the “YES Team”).  The YES Team joined UBS in November 2015 from Credit Suisse, where they ran a similar investment strategy.

UBS marketed the YES strategy to other UBS brokers and their clientele internally, representing that UBS private wealth clients utilizing the YES strategy could rely on the YES Team to use options, to “provide an additional source of income to portfolios when markets are flat, trending higher or trending lower.” 

Some materials appear to note that the UBS YES Strategy involved some potential risks thatmay result in losses,” during periods of high volatility … could potentially result in the realization of additional losses,” and “other trading strategies may result in realizing additional losses.”  However, some clients that were sold on the YES Strategy describe some very different statements and representations related to any purported material risk disclosures. 

UBS Yes Strategy Lawsuit

UBS Yield Enhancement Strategy Lawsuit

The fourth quarter 2018 was a roller coaster ride for many investors, particularly those who had exposure to the UBS YES strategy in November and December 2018.  UBS continued to recommend the YES strategy during this period of extreme volatility as a purportedly safe income producing strategy investment, when in reality it was not, as investors were exposed to significant potential risks to principal

Visit Haselkorn & Thibaut, P.A. blog post: “Did UBS Yield Enhancement Strategy Cause Unnecessary Losses in Your Investment Portfolio?” dated January 25, 2019. Hence the filing of a UBS Yes strategy lawsuit.

UBS may try to seek shelter behind their vague risk disclosures, but these disclosures do not quantify the risk or specify the nature and degree of risk, which also raises questions in some cases as to whether or not such risks were questionable from a fiduciary level of service.  What disclosures were told to the investor customer, like in any case, is where the “rubber meets the road.”

It’s Haselkorn & Thibaut, P.A.’s understanding that the YES Team and/or other members of the UBS marketing department traveled to UBS branches across the country aggressively marketing the merits of the YES strategy.  In those visits, meetings, and marketing or promotional efforts there was little to no discussion of the potential for substantial principal investment losses that many investors experienced in the fourth quarter 2018.

In addition to promotional activities within UBS and its private wealth clients, the YES Team also promoted the investment strategy with some of the wealthiest investors in the country.  At some point after joining UBS, Mr. Buchsbaum promoted his investment strategy to “Tiger 21.”  Tiger 21 (The Investment Group for Enhanced Results in the 21st Century) describes its members as a close-knit network for purposes of discussing topics that matter most to its membership which collectively manage more than $50 billion in personal assets.  Its members include some of the most affluent investors in the United States, Canada and United Kingdom.

UBS YES Strategy Lawsuit Claims

Many investor clients using the YES strategy in late 2018 have expressed frustration insofar as they relied on a trusted fiduciary in UBS to invest in what was supposed to be an income-producing investment strategy and yet they are now left with principal losses that were entirely unexpected and never clearly disclosed as a potential result. 

In fact, some UBS financial advisors are also clearly caught in the middle and many feel betrayed by the firm for allowing the promotion to take place as it did with them and their clientele.  For many UBS private wealth clients, the YES Team handled a portion of their portfolio and client investors rarely (if ever) had direct access to the YES Team or Mr. Buuchsbaum, instead having to rely on their local UBS financial advisor, who was not as well-versed in the potential risks of the investment strategy during volatile times in the market. 

The nature and substance of any communications will be a focus of any claims by investors to recoup unexpected losses.  UBS client investors in some instances are concerned about involving their local UBS advisor in any contemplated action against the firm, as they believe the responsibility should fall on UBS and the YES Team, as their local financial advisor was not as familiar with the YES strategy or how it could be impacted by different market conditions. 

Interestingly, Mr. Buchsbaum, as leader of the UBS Team, has eleven (11) reportable disclosures on his FINRA BrokerCheck report with seven (7) pending arbitration claims that were filed in March and April 2019.  Mr. Rosenberg has three (2) reportable events, Mr. Gostello has two (2), while Ms. Attkiss has none.

UBS YES Investors Time to File Claims is Limited

If you are an investor who has information relating to any suspected sales practices relating to Yield Enhancement Strategies (YES strategy) at UBS or any other firm, or if you have suffered investment losses involving a YES strategy, please contact Haselkorn & Thibaut, P.A., 888-628-5590 or for a no-cost consultation.  Haselkorn & Thibaut, P.A. handle cases nationwide.    

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