Panel Awards $950,000.00 in FINRA Arbitration Involving RMK Bond Funds

Representing Investors Nationwide

The following article appered in the Memphis Daily News on April 9, 2009. It details the latest setback for Morgan Keegan and the latest victory for investors who were sold the toxic RMK Bond funds. The award given to former professional football playere Jerome Woods is believed to be the larges award agains the brokerage firm since the RMK Fund arbitration litigation began last year.

This decision marks the fifth victory in a row for Claimants in FINRA arbitration claims involving the marketing and sale of the bond funds that were allegedly conservative income investments but were instead concentrated heavily in subprime mortage debt. The full article appears below.

Memphis native and former professional football player has won the largest award yet from a financial industry panel hearing claims involving a group of former Regions Morgan Keegan mutual funds.

Jerome Woods, whose football career included a stint with the Kansas City Chiefs, has won $950,000 as a result of the arbitration claim he filed over losses in the RMK funds. Woods played ten seasons in the NFL with the Kansas City Chiefs, according to the team’s official Web site

Woods’ Nashville attorney Naill Falls told The Daily News his client is pleased with the arbitrators’ ruling.

“Like most investors, the Woods were not interested in speculative risk, but Morgan Keegan recommended these highly risky funds indiscriminately, loading up their clients with these funds without disclosing their true risks,” Falls said.

Woods started his collegiate career at Northeast Mississippi Community College. He was drafted by the Chiefs in the 1996 NFL draft after two seasons with the University of Memphis Tigers.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) made the decision in the Woods case. Generally, the panel does not qualify its decisions.

Earlier this month, Morgan Keegan spokeswoman Kathy Ridley said about the results of the RMK arbitrations: “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.”

Memphis-based Morgan Keegan is a subsidiary of Alabama-based Regions Financial Corp. New York-based Hyperion Brookfield Asset Management took over the troubled RMK funds from Morgan Keegan last summer.

The firm, which also rebranded the funds under its Helios name, is not a party in any current claims or lawsuits by investors.

Losses in the funds have spawned a wave of securities litigation in addition to the arbitration claims. Among other recent arbitration awards, Memphis native and sports broadcaster Tim McCarver won $100,000 in compensatory damages in February as a result of the claim he filed over his own former RMK investments

If you have experienced losses due to the RMK bond funds, please contact our office to discuss your options for recovery. Thank you.