5. A retired professional basketball player has won what may be the largest award yet from a financial industry panel hearing claims involving a group of former Regions Morgan Keegan mutual funds.
Four-time NBA champion Horace Grant has won almost $1.5 million in an arbitration claim he filed over his losses in the RMK funds.
In his statement of claim, Grant said he suffered losses of almost $1.5 million in some of Morgan Keegan & Co. Inc.’s “highly speculative proprietary funds, which were not in (his) best interest.” A Morgan Keegan spokesman was not immediately available for comment.
Grant, who retired in 2004, played as a power forward for the Chicago Bulls in the 1990s alongside star players Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen. He was playing for the Los Angeles Lakers when he retired.
Grant’s attorney, Chicago securities lawyer Andrew Stoltmann, said Grant had wanted a stable place to park his money so it would provide a steady income for his retirement years. His statement of claim says Grant was familiar with Regions Bank and “trusted the Morgan Keegan name.”
Memphis-based Morgan Keegan is a subsidiary of Alabama-based Regions Financial Corp.
Offense and defense
New York-based Hyperion Brookfield Asset Management last summer took over the troubled RMK funds, several of which lost the majority of their value in a staggering fall beginning in 2007.
“What (Grant) got was a derivative-laced, hedge-fund-like investment that lost 90 percent of its value,” Stoltmann said. “He’s a guy who retired from the NBA and wanted conservative, stable investments so he could live off of that money.”
A Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) panel made the decision in Grant’s case. Generally, the FINRA panels don’t explain their decisions.
FINRA panels have announced several big dollar RMK-related awards this year, with some of them going to prominent investors.
Memphis native and baseball broadcaster Tim McCarver was awarded $100,000 in compensatory damages in February stemming from his RMK losses.?A former NFL player for the Kansas City Chiefs, Memphis native Jerome Woods, won $950,000 this year after filing an arbitration claim over his RMK losses.
Referring to a FINRA panel’s decision about Woods’ claim, Morgan Keegan spokeswoman Kathy Ridley said in April: “Overall results support our belief that there were no improprieties in the management of these funds. We plan to continue a vigorous defense of all claims.”...