Big UBS Broker in Indiana Jumps to Independent Under Alleged Pressure
An allegedly high-producing UBS Financial Services broker in Indianapolis who made a name for himself locally as an owner of racehorses has moved to an independent broker-dealer.
Paul Murans transferred his brokerage license last week to Thurston, Springer, Miller, Herd & Titak, which promotes itself as a hybrid broker-RIA offering options for advisors unhappy at their current firms and looking
Murans declined to discuss his move following six-and-a-half years at UBS and eight years previously at Merrill Lynch. He was a senior vice president at UBS and generated around $2 million of fees and commissions annually, said a person familiar with his practice.
(UBS discharged Murans for facilitating sale of life-setttlemnt products that the firm did not authorize and failing to escalate a client complaint, according to a notation on his BrokerCheck history that was updated after this article was first published.)
Merrill allowed Murans to “voluntarily resign: in March 2011 after ending an internal review of allegations that he was selling outside investments or participating in outside business activities without the firm’s knowledge or approval, according to a summary of a regulatory filing in his BrokerCheck history.
The activities may have involved thoroughbred horse racing, according to the source. The avocation has put Murans, who played on the Southwest Missouri State basketball team that made it the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA Tournament in 1999, into the of several high-profile stakes races and taken him to the at least three times, according to local newspaper reports.
Murans wrote on his U-4 that he left Merrill “voluntarily to pursue a better business opportunity at UBS,” according to a summary of the document on BrokerCheck.
“The allegation of unreported business activity, made in connection with my departure from Merrill Lynch, is unfounded,” he wrote.
Merrill wrote that its “internal review concluded when the financial advisor resigned,” according to a snapshot of Murans’ Central Registration Depository report provided by a state regulatory official.
The “Other Businesses” section of the report indicates that Murans described himself as a “passive partner” in three “Donegal Derby Dreams” funds, as well as in Forum Stables LLC and M-Big LLC. He did not participate in the businesses “during market hours or otherwise,” he wrote.
He also wrote that he was “an occasional private lender” to an entity called PFT Funding in “an investor capacity only,” according to the CRD snapshot. It does not elaborate on the nature of that business.
The person who claimed familiarity with Murans’ practice said UBS may have been investigating his involvement in selling life-settlement policies “away” from the firm.
Murans did not respond to a request for comment on that allegation, and UBS spokespeople did not reply to requests for comment on his departure, his production or any internal investigations involving the broker.
During his 18-year history as a registered representative, Murans received a single customer complaint, according to his BrokerCHeck history. In August 2016, he settled the complaint, which alleged that he recommended unsuitable investments from 2011 to July 2016. The customer had requested $250,000 and the settlement was for $75,000, according to BrokerCheck.
Thurston Springer CEO James Titak and its managing principal Richard Parker did not return calls for comment about Murans’ role at the firm.