Wells Fires Southern California Broker and His Complex Manager
Wells Fargo Advisors on Wednesday fired an advisor and his complex manager, each of whom had more than 30 years of industry experience, after regulators raised concerns about the California-based broker’s trading and his failure to produce client-suitability documents, according to two sources who said they were briefed on the events.
John F. Bodovitz and his manager, Mark T. Zielinski, were dismissed from the Newport Beach complex shortly after the start of business on Wednesday, according to the sources, one of whom is a Wells Fargo manager and a second of whom worked with Zielinski at another firm.
A spokeswoman for Wells Fargo, which has not yet filed U5 termination forms for the employees, confirmed their termination and declined further comment. Bodovitz and Zielinski, whose profiles were removed late this week from their business websites, could not be reached.
The Securities and Exchange Commission began questioning Bodovitz’ heavy trading several months ago, focusing on his inability to produce client-suitability or planning documents, the Wells manager said. An SEC spokeswoman declined to comment.
Bodovitz, who has been with Wells Advisors and a predecessor firm since 1994, has no record of client complaints or other disclosures on his BrokerCheck record.
Zielinski, who oversaw about 50 brokers at the Wells branch in Newport Beach, had not been replaced as of Friday, said a person at the branch who was taking his calls.
Zielinski, who had a peripatetic career at six firms before settling in with Wells eight years ago, appears to have been decked because he defended the broker to the SEC even as the situation became indefensible, according to the two sources.
The complex manager was well-liked by brokers, they and an outside recruiter said. His BrokerCheck record discloses a single customer complaint that was withdraw in 2000.
Zielinski has been a branch manager since 2004, when he left Wachovia Securities and its predecessor Prudential Securities after 22 years to join Piper Jaffray in San Francisco, according to his LinkedIn profile. He jumped to UBS Financial for a year in 2006 and to Morgan Stanley for another year before joining Wells Advisors in 2008, according to BrokerCheck.