The Department of Banking News Bulletin
Bulletin # 2913 - Week Ending December 20, 2019
This bulletin constitutes the only official notification you will receive from this office concerning any of the following applications. Any observations you may have are solicited. Any comments should be in writing to Jorge L. Perez, Banking Commissioner, Department of Banking, 260 Constitution Plaza, Hartford, CT 06103-1800. Written comments will be considered only if they are received within ten business days from the date of this bulletin.
SECURITIES AND BUSINESS INVESTMENTS DIVISION ACTIVITY
Horter Investment Management, LLC (CRD No. 119880) – Consent Order Entered
On December 18, 2019, the Banking Commissioner entered a Consent Order (No. CO-19-14430-S) with respect to Horter Investment Management, LLC of 11726 Seven Gables Road, Symmes Township, Cincinnati, Ohio 45249. The firm is registered as an investment adviser with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The Consent Order alleged that the firm violated Section 36b-6(c)(3) of the Connecticut Uniform Securities Act by engaging one Robert William Brinkman (CRD No. 1511170) as an unregistered investment adviser agent. More specifically, from approximately January 2015 to approximately January 2019, Brinkman purportedly solicited and referred investment advisory clients to Daniel Reens (CRD No. 6576660), a former investment adviser agent of Horter Investment Management, LLC, and Reens in turn and while under the supervision of Horter Investment Management, LLC, paid a portion of the related investment advisory fees he earned to Safe Harbor Retirement LLC, an entity associated with Brinkman. In addition, on January 16, 2019, Horter Investment Management, LLC purportedly paid Safe Harbor Retirement LLC $29,337.95 as a solicitation fee.
Brinkman was the subject of a September 27, 2019 Consent Order (No. CO-19-8416-S) entered by the Commissioner relating to the conduct in question, and a similar Consent Order was entered with respect to Reens on October 22, 2019 (No. CO-19-8537-S).
The December 18, 2019 Consent Order directed Horter Investment Management, LLC to cease and desist from regulatory violations and fined the firm $12,500.
Great Heritage Investments, LLC (CRD No. 288521) and George Henry Messier (CRD No. 1005894) – Order to Cease and Desist, Notice of Intent to Restrict or Impose Conditions on Securities or Investment Advisory Activities and Notice of Intent to Fine Issued
On December 19, 2019, the Banking Commissioner issued an Order to Cease and Desist, Notice of Intent to Restrict or Impose Conditions on Securities or Investment Advisory Activities and Notice of Intent to Fine (Docket No. CRNDF-19-8436-S) against Great Heritage Investments, LLC of 14 Main Street South, Woodbury, Connecticut 06798 and George Henry Messier, Chief Compliance Officer of the firm. Great Heritage Investments, LLC is registered as an investment adviser under the Connecticut Uniform Securities Act and George Messier is registered as an investment adviser agent of the firm in Connecticut.
The action alleged that, contrary to Section 36b-5(b)(1) of the Act, the firm failed to enter into signed investment advisory agreements with its clients; that the firm violated Section 36b-5 of the Act and Section 36b-31-5a of the Regulations by disseminating misleading advertising and performance representations; that the firm failed to maintain the records required by Section 36b-14(a)(1) of the Act and Section 36b-31-14b of the Regulations; that, in violation of Section 36b-23 of the Act, respondents made materially misleading statements in filings made with the Commissioner; and that respondents failed to update their regulatory filings as required by Section 36b-31-14e of the Regulations.
Among the relief sought by the department was a requirement that the firm refrain from exercising custody or control over client funds or securities; file proposed advertising with the agency; limit client advice to exchange-listed securities, investment companies, governmental securities, commercial paper and certificates of deposit; and that the firm retain a regulatory consultant to perform compliance reviews of the firm’s operations.
The respondents were afforded an opportunity to request a hearing on the Order to Cease and Desist, the Notice of Intent to Fine and the activity restrictions sought by the agency.