Galvin fines MassMutual $4 million in ‘Roaring Kitty’ case

Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin on Thursday said he had fined MML Investors Services $4 million over the firm’s failure to supervise agents, including Keith Gill, who is also known on some social media sites as “Roaring Kitty.”

The broker-dealer also agreed to overhaul its social media policies, according to a statement from Galvin’s office.

MML Investors Services is the retail-focused broker-dealer subsidiary of MassMutual, the giant insurer.

Under consent orders signed this week, MassMutual has agreed to undergo an independent compliance review of its social media policies and trading by its broker-dealer agents. The company will also be subject to a three-year compliance audit.

Gill stopped working at MML Investors Services in February and is no longer registered with a broker-dealer, according to his profile on BrokerCheck.

“MassMutual is pleased to put this matter behind us, avoiding the expense and distraction associated with protracted litigation,” a company spokesperson wrote in an email.

According to the consent order, Gill was employed by MassMutual from April 2019 until January 2021, a period in which he frequently posted videos and other materials online regarding investments and trading.

The period of Gill’s employment overlapped with his involvement in the GameStop and meme stock frenzy that occurred in late 2020 and early 2021, according to the regulator.

While employed by MassMutual, Gill was responsible for creating educational content for use by MassMutual broker-dealer agents to present to individuals, according to Galvin. At the same time that Gill was preparing those materials, he posted more than 250 hours of videos on YouTube, known by the moniker “Roaring Kitty,” detailing investment strategies, which went unnoticed by his employer, as did at least 590 securities-related tweets posted by Gill, according to Galvin.

MassMutual failed to detect or monitor nearly 1,700 trades effected by Gill in the accounts of three other individuals, as well as transactions effected by Gill that were nearly double MassMutual’s per-transaction limit of $250,000.

Also without notice of his employer, Gill was able to execute at least two trades in GameStop in excess of $700,000.

The post Galvin fines MassMutual $4 million in ‘Roaring Kitty’ case appeared first on InvestmentNews.

Andrew is half-human, half-gamer. He’s also a science fiction author writing for BleeBot.

Andrew Vincent
Andrew is half-human, half-gamer. He's also a science fiction author writing for BleeBot.
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