Mary Jane McGinty – May 2017
Generally, our end game at MDW is to deliver to the client a sum of money. This can be in the form of a divorce settlement, compensation for personal injury, an inheritance, or damages of many kinds. Don’t be surprised if your new-found wealth attracts the unsolicited attention of “financial advisors”. These are people who promise to help you plan for your future and make your money grow.
These professionals deliver a vital service and most of them do so in a professional and responsible manner. But they are not all the same.
Fifteen years ago, dozens of wealthy and prominent Nova Scotians lost millions of dollars that they had placed in the hands of National Bank Financial Limited. This was a well established financial institution subject to the Canadian and Nova Scotian tight regulatory system, right here in Halifax.
Most of the investors were seasoned and they were dealing with a national institution. It was all safe until it came crashing down, allegedly at the hands of three co-conspirators, one of whom pled guilty to conspiracy to defraud the public.
Some of the victims of this fraud endured twelve years of litigation to recover part of what they lost. MDW was among the lawyers who assisted the victims in the massive civil suit that followed the downfall of Knowledge House.
The loss experienced by the victims of National Bank is experienced by hard working people on a smaller scale every day. Retirement savings disappear at the hands of an indifferent broker to whom compliance with regulations is a fairy tale. So, when your case is over, and you are looking to invest that trust check in your hands, be smart. Check out your “investment advisor” carefully. Use the records and resources offered by the Nova Scotia Securities Commission. Talk to people you trust.
It is also important to watch your investments carefully. You have a duty to look after your account too and your failure to do so may result in a finding that you contributed to your own loss.
If you believe your investments have been wasted, talk to your lawyer. Recovery is possible if the broker and or institution acted negligently, fraudulently or with disregard for the regulatory framework.