ORX News digest of the month – December 2019

  • 27 January 2020

Every month the ORX News team publishes a featured digest from the ORX News Service. It's a detailed look at one of the losses reported in the media that month, and is handpicked by the team as one of the most interesting stories.

UBS ordered to pay USD 11.2 million by FINRA arbitrators over employee defamation claim

A US Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration panel ordered UBS to pay $11.2m in damages, costs and fees following a defamation claim first filed in June 2018 by former employee Mark Munizzi.

UBS reportedly fired Munizzi from his position as a market operations supervisor in April 2018 after two accounts he oversaw lost value during a steep market drop two months earlier. UBS claimed that Munizzi had failed to act on margin calls and lied during an internal review of the incident. UBS also claimed that Munizzi had failed to properly supervise the risks of an uncovered options strategy.

However, Munizzi said that he was not notified about the margin calls on the two accounts and that when he did become aware of the issues, he took immediate steps to cover the unsecured positions.

Munizzi alleged that UBS had defamed him through the description provided in his Form U5 and that this prevented him from finding a new job in the industry. Munizzi also said that he was owed severance from UBS, and that UBS had violated the Illinois wage Payment and Collection Act.

The panel ordered UBS to pay $11.2m to Munizzi and $39,000 in FINRA fees, and recommended amendments to Munizzi’s Form U5. As of December 2019, UBS denied all allegations.

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ORX News digest of the month, December 2019

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