As recently reported, the Massachusetts Securities Division (the “Division”) has commenced an investigation into the sales practices of some 63 independent broker-dealers who offered private placements sponsored by alternative asset manager GPB Capital Holdings, LLC (“GPB”). Specifically, the Division has intimated that it began an investigation into GPB following a recent tip concerning the firm’s sales practices which allegedly occurred not long after GPB announced that it was temporarily halting any new capital raising efforts, as well as suspending any redemptions.
According to the Division’s head, Mr. William Galvin, the investigation is in its “very nascent stages.” At this time, Massachusetts securities regulators have requested information about GPB from more than 60 broker-dealers, including HighTower Securities, Advisor Group’s four independent broker-dealers, as well as Ladenburg Thalmann’s Triad Advisors.
In August 2018, GPB – the sponsor of certain limited partnership offerings including GPB Automotive Portfolio and GPB Holdings II – announced that it was not accepting any new capital. According to filings with the SEC, sales of the two aforementioned GPB private placements allegedly netted the broker-dealers marketing these investment products some $100 million in commissions, at a rate of about 8%, since 2013.