Our Concerns Regarding the Sale of Insurance as an Investment

We believe a recent case before the National Adjudicatory Council (NAC) is a good example of what concerns us about the sale of insurance as an investment or a surrogate for an investment. The case involves a North Carolina investment professional by the name of Cecil Ernest Nivens in Gastonia (Charlotte area), North Carolina.  Nivens was registered to sell securities through NY LIFE SECURITIES LLC (CRD#:5167) until 2014. Nivens regulatory records show a number of customer complaints as well as other problems. FINRA’s NAC is now looking specifically at Nivens activities related to Variable Universal Life (VUL) policies and Variable annuities, including allegations that Nivens engaged in the recommendation of policy replacements for the purpose of generating significant commissions. FINRA has asserted that the damages to the clients included negative tax consequences as well as surrender charges for the liquidation of policies in some cases. The FINRA case number for the Nivens matter is FINRA Case #2014040873501.  

To protect investors from harm from the unethical or incompetent sale of insurance, in which the financial professional will earn a significant commission (which creates a significant conflict of interest), we urge investors to do at least two things:

  1. Independently investigate the background of any investment professional before investing; and
  2. Seek a second opinion on whether the specific investment that is being recommended is right for you.


Vernon Litigation Group is a law firm with offices in Naples, Florida and Buckhead, Georgia that represents clients in courtroom litigation, arbitration, including FINRA arbitration, negotiation, and mediation throughout the United States. Our lawyers have collectively represented hundreds of investors in securities and insurance disputes in arbitration and litigation nationwide and recovered many millions of dollars from purported financial professionals and financial institutions, both large and small. Please contact us to discuss your rights if you believe a financial or investment professional has failed to act in your best interests or otherwise abused your trust with respect to insurance products or other investment products or services. For more information, visit our website at or contact us by phone at (239) 319-4434 or by e-mail at to speak with a representative of Vernon Litigation Group.

Attorney Chris Vernon

Mr. Vernon handles the litigation and arbitration of complex business and financial disputes, with an emphasis on securities fraud and securities arbitration, throughout the United States.

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