UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
In the Matter of
RAYMOND JAMES FINANCIAL
|ORDER UNDER SECTION 27(A)(b) OF THE SECURITIES ACT OF 1933 AND SECTION 21E(b) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934, GRANTING WAIVERS OF THE DISQUALIFICATION PROVISIONS OF SECTION 27A(b)(1)(A)(ii) OF THE SECURITIES ACT OF 1933 AND SECTION 21E(b)(1)(A)(ii) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934|
Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. ("Raymond James") has submitted a letter, dated January 26, 2004, for a waiver of the disqualification provisions of Section 27A(b)(1)(A)(ii) of the Securities Act of 1933 ("Securities Act") and Section 21E(b)(1)(A)(ii) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 ("Exchange Act") arising from its settlement of an administrative proceeding commenced by the Commission. On February 12, 2004, pursuant to the Offer of Settlement by Raymond James, the Commission issued an Order Instituting Administrative and Cease-and-Desist Proceedings, Making Findings, and Imposing Remedial Sanctions and a Cease-and-Desist Order Pursuant to Section 8A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 15(b)(4) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the "Order"). Under the Order, the Commission found that Raymond James willfully violated Section 17(a)(2) of the Securities Act.
The Order censures Raymond James and requires Raymond James (1) to cease and desist from committing or causing any violations and any future violations of Section 17(a)(2) of the Securities Act; (2) within 10 days of the entry of this Order, to pay a civil money penalty in the amount of $1,297,564 to the United States Treasury; (3) to pay disgorgement and prejudgment interest, which obligation shall be satisfied by compliance with the customer refund program as set forth in the NASD's related order; and (4) not later than 6 months after the date of this order, unless otherwise extended by the staff of the Commission for good cause shown, have its chief executive officer certify in writing to the staff of the Commission that Raymond James has implemented procedures, and a system for applying such procedures, that can reasonably be expected to prevent and detect failures by Raymond James to provide appropriate breakpoint discounts for which customers are eligible on purchases of front-end load mutual funds, based on information reasonably ascertainable by Raymond James.
The safe harbor provisions of Section 27A(c) of the Securities Act and Section 21E(c) of the Exchange Act are not available for any forward looking statement that is "made with respect to the business or operations of an issuer, if the issuer . . . during the 3-year period preceding the date on which the statement was first made . . . has been made the subject of an . . . administrative decree or order arising out of a governmental action that (I) prohibits future violations of the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws; (II) requires that the issuer cease and desist from violating the antifraud provisions of the securities laws; or (III) determines that the issuer violated the antifraud provisions of the securities laws[.]" Section 27A(b)(1)(A)(ii) of the Securities Act and Section 21E(b)(1)(A)(ii) of the Exchange Act. The disqualifications may be waived "to the extent otherwise specifically provided by rule, regulation, or order of the Commission." Section 27A(b) of the Securities Act and Section 21E(b) of the Exchange Act.
Based on the representations set forth in the request made by Raymond James, the Commission has determined that, under the circumstances, the request for a waiver of the disqualifications resulting from the entry of the Order is appropriate and should be granted.
Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED, pursuant to Section 27A(b) of the Securities Act and Section 27E(b) of the Exchange Act, that a waiver from the disqualification provisions of Section 27A(b)(1)(A)(ii) of the Securities Act and Section 21E(b)(1)(A)(ii) of the Exchange Act as to Raymond James resulting from the entry of the Order is hereby granted.
By the Commission.
Jonathan G. Katz
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