Raymond James to pay $1.5 mln in annuities case

Thu May 19, 2011 5:08pm EDT

* Couple alleges broker improperly sold annuities, stocks

* Raymond James "disappointed" by panel's ruling

CHARLOTTE, N.C. May 19 (Reuters) - Raymond James Financial Inc (RJF.N) must pay a Texas man and his wife's estate $1.5 million to resolve allegations the company improperly sold annuities to the couple, according to a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority arbitration panel filing.

In May 2010, Hurshel and Mildred Tyler, now deceased, claimed a broker for the St. Petersburg, Florida-based company recommended they purchase various deferred variable annuities and individual stocks like JDS Uniphase Corp (JDSU.O), Infospace INSP.O and Alcatel (ALUA.PA), according to a FINRA dispute resolution agreement issued on May 10.

That broker then moved to LPL Financial Corp.

Raymond James and LPL Financial denied the allegations, and the Tylers' requested $2.3 million in compensatory and actual damages, according to the filing.

In a statement to Reuters, Raymond James spokeswoman Anthea Penrose said the company was disappointed by the award and was reviewing all available options.

The couple, Penrose said, voluntarily followed the financial adviser to LPL Financial, and had an unrealized profit of $800,000 on the investments before market conditions changed.

An attorney for the Tylers was not immediately available for comment.

(Reporting by Joe Rauch, editing by Bernard Orr)