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Cherry-picking a no-no

Mausner, Drennan banned from securities industry

A Securities and Exchange Commission administrative-law judge yesterday (Aug. 5) banned Ian O. Mausner and Douglas F. Drennan from the securities business. Mausner, was a cofounder and chief executive officer of J.S. Oliver, an investment advisory firm that operated out of Mausner's luxury San Diego home. Drennan was an investment advisor for the firm.

J.S. Oliver was involved in a practice called "cherry-picking." At the end of a trading day, the firm steered winning trades to hedge funds in which Mausner and his family had invested. The less-profitable trades were put in the accounts of other clients, who suffered more than $10 million in damages.

The securities agency also charged that Mausner and Drennan misused so-called "soft dollars," a means of paying firms for their services in commission credits instead of in cash. The securities agency charged that Mausner, with Drennan's assistance, misappropriated more than a million dollars in soft dollars for purposes that did not benefit clients, such as payments related to Mausner's divorce.

J.S. Oliver and Mausner are ordered to disgorge $1.4 million and Drennan $482,000. Oliver will pay a fine of $15 million, Mausner $3 million and Drennan $410,000.

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A Securities and Exchange Commission administrative-law judge yesterday (Aug. 5) banned Ian O. Mausner and Douglas F. Drennan from the securities business. Mausner, was a cofounder and chief executive officer of J.S. Oliver, an investment advisory firm that operated out of Mausner's luxury San Diego home. Drennan was an investment advisor for the firm.

J.S. Oliver was involved in a practice called "cherry-picking." At the end of a trading day, the firm steered winning trades to hedge funds in which Mausner and his family had invested. The less-profitable trades were put in the accounts of other clients, who suffered more than $10 million in damages.

The securities agency also charged that Mausner and Drennan misused so-called "soft dollars," a means of paying firms for their services in commission credits instead of in cash. The securities agency charged that Mausner, with Drennan's assistance, misappropriated more than a million dollars in soft dollars for purposes that did not benefit clients, such as payments related to Mausner's divorce.

J.S. Oliver and Mausner are ordered to disgorge $1.4 million and Drennan $482,000. Oliver will pay a fine of $15 million, Mausner $3 million and Drennan $410,000.

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4

Honest Ian is finished. He couldn't get a job shoveling dung at a turkey ranch. Ian should get a job co-hosting Ray Lucia's radio show.

Aug. 6, 2014

Burwell: I think you are right. Mausner is done. Incidentally, he got his bachelor's in economics from Amherst in 1982 and an MBA from Stanford in 1985. Personally, I think prosecutors should consider criminal penalties for cherry-picking. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 6, 2014

There's little difference between cherry-picking and robbing a bank with a gun. The theft of $10 million from clients warrants at least 15 years in prison. This appears to have been a sophisticated crime that required cunning and intelligence to carry out. One of his staff probably ratted him out otherwise he wouldn't have been caught.

Aug. 6, 2014

Burwell: Yes, cherry-picking is not easy to detect. It may well have been a staffer who reported him. I suppose it is possible that someone close to the other clients who got the short end of the stick figured it out, and that person may have been an employee, or knew an embittered employee well.Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 7, 2014

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