Chris McConnell AIFA® is an independent expert whose portfolio includes but is not limited to the securities, banking and financial services industry regulatory and internal compliance, custom and practice, supervision, suitability, fiduciary duty, securities analysis, valuation, compensation, incentives for all types of individuals and third party vendors employed in or contracted by the securities, banking, mortgage and financial services and insurance industries, He has over 35 years of extremely broad and in-depth, hands-on experience and provided continuing legal and professional education for over 15 years, along with helpful background and insights from the 1970's up to state of the art, present day 2021 financial services, online ordering, and payments industry issues. Chris McConnell & Associates pioneered flat fee, independent, conflict-free fiduciary consulting in 2003. Mr McConnell’s FiduciaryFORENSICS assesses performance, liability and damages for both plaintiff and defense counsel as consultant, investigator and or expert witness in venues nationwide.
Cases involve a wide variety of industries and issues such as corporate governance, securities, banking, payments, online orderig, e-commerce, social, digital and traditional media, bankruptcy, divorce, trust, insurance, non-profits, foundations, endowments, FINRA, ERISA, precious metals, hedge funds, private placements, derivatives, intellectual property, compensation, valuation, training and employment. Failure to supervise, suitability, breach of fiduciary duty, misrepresentation, fraud, taxes, best execution, proxy voting, Uniform Prudent Investor Act, ERISA, Uniform Management of Institutional Funds, Uniform Management of Public Pension Plans, Coogans' Act, UTMA, UGMA, 529 Accounts, 401K plans
Account types and all manner of financial and insurance instruments not limited to include: trusts (all types), IRAs, IRA Rollovers, ERISA, Taft-Hartley, Profit Sharing, non-profits, foundations, endowments. And matters not limited to regulatory agency, legal malpractice, family law, bankruptcy, criminal, white collar crime and divorce matters.
Mr McConnell is also an expert on the causes of the 2008 global financial crisis and the more recent 2019 / 2021 global financial panic (dating to September 2019, pre-dating Covid-19).
B.A. - Economics / Accounting option, Rutgers University;
M.B.A. - Graziadio School of Business, Pepperdine University;
AIFA® - (Accredited Investment Fiduciary Analyst), Center for Fiduciary Studies, Katz Graduate School of Business, University of Pittsburgh and
Extensive accounting and tax training, knowledge and experience including successfully passing the Uniform Certified Public Accountant (CPA) examination, State of New York Board of Accountancy.
Mr McConnell has a truly impressive command drawn from over 35 years of deep and extensive hands-on experience, training, education and knowledge of all levels and elements of the securities, futures, banking and payments, financial services and insurance industry (and since 2003 e-commerce, social, digital and traditional media, online ordering, delivery and payments) including but not limited to the legal entity corporate governance, compliance, regulatory, accounting, tax, supervision, employee recruiting, training areas, industry custom and practice, standard of care and customer experience. His expertise spans representations and warrants (implicit) in ads, social media, press releases, solicitation, point of sale, merchants, user, financial advisor, support personnel, branch, complex, region, headquarters, legal entity, broker/dealer, bank holding company entities, enterprise, cloud to blockchain touchpoints including the budgeting, accounting, compensation, incentives, disclosures, conflicts of interest, advertising, marketing, tax, regulatory reporting and requirements culminating in unique, succinct and incandescent case insights.
• Since 2004 and prior to the 2008 GFC (global financial crisis) Mr McConnell issued brief, annual FiduciaryALERTS™ warning trustees and fiduciaries with prudent steps to take to help protect trust assets (such as real estate and real estate – based investments) and trust beneficiaries from the dangers of leverage building up in the financial system. The 2004 FiduciaryALERT™ included a red flag when the largest Wall St broker dealers’ insurance coverage was abruptly canceled.
He has assisted on cases pro-bono such as for a claimant, a retired file clerk who had $26 left in her bank account (the subject of a Los Angeles Times article) to exceedingly complex individual and corporate tax, securities, pension plan, life insurance and annuities matters to multi-billion dollar class actions including liability, potential exposures, valuations and damages for:
1. ERISA plan violations by the largest commercial bankruptcy in Las Vegas history for the PBGC (the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corp. the US govt. agency which protects US workers’ pensions)
2. Bankruptcy estate around a hedge fund manager and the Beverly Hills celebrity poker ring
3. Divorce of an investment partner of horse racing’s 1977 Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew’s original breeding syndicate
4. Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme, defense of a solo RIA (registered investment advisor)
5. Hollywood icon, intellectual property, Oscar – winning film copyrights, celebrity estate versus one of the largest trust companies in the world (probate matter)
6. Insured bank deposit sweep account class action & largest US broker/dealers banks’ multi-billion dollar customers’ funds diversion; a cause of the 2008 Global Financial Crisis and bailout
7. A nationwide gold coins, bullion & collectibles advertising and promotion scheme; illegal margin trading investigation
8. The successor trustee of a prominent family trust which operated a technology business (defense, of a founder of a prominent pension consulting firm)
9. The valuation of a Wall St financial advisor’s compensation & benefits plan under the 9/11 Victim’s Special Compensation Fund in a divorce (marital dissolution, family law)
10. A large family trust with operating farms, related brokerage account investments, trust heirs, beneficiaries and charitable trust, non-profit bequest dispute
11. The self-directed IRA involving an official of a national political party, foreign investment
12. Offshoring of US-based family trust bank accounts, over $100 Million claim in a constructive trust (Trust and Estate, Probate matter)
13. The criminal fraud impacting 5,000 investors in a VOIP patent investment scam, Ponzi scheme (Criminal defense)
14. Best execution matter for a Taft – Hartley, union pension plan
15. Publicly traded US homebuilder investigation, the issuer updated SEC form 8-K disclosures
16. Investigation into the NYSE’s (then a non-profit) corporate governance & compensation paid to a former chairman
17. Two professional athletes’ (NFL & NBA) cases versus a major bank and affiliated broker-dealer
18. Elder financial abuse and exploitation defense of a financial institution
19. IRA and subsequent conduit IRA, spousal Trust beneficary and broker dealer malfeasance dispute involving one of the original investors in the Cheesecake Factory
20. IRA medallion stamp signature guarantee, unauthorized transactions and withdrawals by a spouse against a global brokerage firm, within a related family law / divorce, trust beneficiary, child custody and bankruptcy case involving a pioneer of fulfillments and promotions for the financial services industry
21. Corporate governance, termination, compensation of an employee/investor, medical technology industry
22. Oscar’s (AMPAAS) awards recommendations and solutions (non-commissioned)
23. NCAA Men’s Soccer investigation and solutions (non-commissioned)
When we are brought into a case, with over 35 years of experience including hundreds of cases when on Wall St, and hundreds more as an independent consulting expert since 2003, we provide new, unique, fact – based insights and clarity which nearly always help bring about a settlement.
Office (310) 943 – 6509 accepts texts and calls
Complimentary brief initial consultations, subject to availability
- Business Law
- Business Valuation
- Business/Employment Insurance
- Class Actions
- Corporate Governance
- Demonstrative Evidence/Exhibits
- Driver Behavior
- Family Law
- Forensic Accounting
- Insurance Customs & Practices
- Legal Malpractice
- Liability Insurance
- Mass Torts
- Mergers & Acquisitions
- Personal Property Valuation
- Private Investigators
- Public Contracts
- Risk Management
- Stocks & Bonds
- Trusts & Estates
- Wrongful Termination
- Q: Please list your professional accreditations, degrees, licenses, and certificates granted:
- A: ACCREDITED INVESTMENT FIDUCIARY ANALYST, Center for Fiduciary Studies
MBA, Pepperdine University
BA, Economics / Accounting, Rutgers University
CPA Exam - Passed, State of New York Board of Accountancy
- Q: Please list any teaching or speaking experience you have had, including subject matter:
- A: Mr. McConnell has delivered MCLE lectures qualifying for minimum continuing legal and professional education to attorneys, CPAs and schools since 2003.thru 2018
- Q: Have any of your accreditations ever been investigated, suspended or removed? (if yes, explain)
- A: No
- Q: On how many occasions have you been retained as an expert?
- A: Mr. McConnell has been retained over 150 times as either a testifying and or consulting expert
- Q: For what area(s) of expertise have you been retained as an expert?
- A: Nearly every investment and service (please see https://fiduciaryexpert.com/about) provided by a Wall St and discount securities broker dealer and affiliated bank, Securities, Pension, IRA, ERISA Pension,Profit Sharing,Taft-Hartley Union Pensions, 401k plans, IRAs; Registered Investment Advisor, Non - profit, Foundation, Endowments; Investigations of Securities Outside Business Activities (approved, not approved or concealed), Continuing Education,
Family Law, Divorce, QDROs, Community property, Retired FAs, Account distributions, Forgivable Loans, Stockbroker, Executive, National, Regional and Branch Manager Compensation Plans, Incentives, Valuation and Conflicts of interest and self-dealing in the financial services industry securities, banking, mortgage, payments, life insurance, annuities, and long term care industries
Trust & Estate, Probate, Surrogate / Elder Abuse
FINRA Securities Arbitration - 401k IRA Rollovers, Trusts, Charities
Legal Malpractice, Bankruptcy, Federal Agency, Investment adviser
Employment, Compensation - Financial Services / Securities industry
- Q: In what percentage of your cases were you retained by the plaintiff?
- A: 70%
- Q: In what percentage of your cases were you retained by the defendant?
- A: 30%
- Q: When was the last time you had your deposition taken?
- A: 2015
- Q: On how many occasions have you been qualified by a court to give expert testimony?
- A: 15 or more
- Q: On how many occasions have you testified as an expert in court or before an arbitrator?
- A: 15 (an overwhelming majority of cases settle.)
- Q: For how many years have you worked with the legal industry as an expert?
- A: 16
- Q: What services do you offer? (E.g.: consulting, testing, reports, site inspections etc.)
- A: Customized, bespoke Securities & Entire Portfolio surveillance for professional athletes, creative artists and select HNW celebrity accounts including affiliated foundations and charities.
Expert Evaluations, Reports, Testimony, Rebuttal Expert, Case Consultation and preparation assistance
At any time, any type of account, investment, asset (including intellectual property such as copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets and patents), insurance or annuity may become subject to an investment fiduciary duty * IN ADDITION TO * applicable suitability and branch, regional and national compliance customer account supervision and standard custom and practice in the securities, banking, lending, payments and financial services industries.
**Now more than ever before in the securities, banking, insurance and annuity industry uncertainty and confusion, potential self-dealing and conflicts of interest around account-specific applicable standard of care pose elevated risks of harm to customers' account(s) especially but nor limited to all trust, ERISA pension, 401k plans, not-for-profit, charity, foundation, endowment, IRA, senior citizen, elder and disabled, UTMA and UGMA accounts.**
Fiduciary performance audits address the parties, duties, and gaps if any
Divorce Fiduciary Audit(tm), Duffy Analysis, QDRAb4QDRO(tm), FiduciaryFORENSICS(tm), Litigation, arbitration & mediation Consulting, Statement of claim, Suitability analysis, Post-Settlement Fiduciary Audits, Supervision, Financial Services, Securities industry employment disputes, Stock Broker, Investment adviser and branch manager compensation.
FINRA and general Discovery Support initial pleadings, review and analysis
- Q: What is your hourly rate to consult with an attorney?
- A: ** Brief initial consultations are available as time permits **
A calendar and conflict check is required.
Thereafter a working budget is provided to you before any billable work begins, upon your approval and payment services may be scheduled.
- Q: What is your hourly rate to review documents?
- A: ** Subject to a calendar and conflict check.
A working budget is provided to you before any billable work begins, upon your approval and payment; services may be scheduled.
- Q: What is your hourly rate to provide deposition testimony?
- A: Rates, fees and/or availability are provided upon completion of a calendar and conflict check.
- Q: What is your hourly rate to provide testimony at trial?
- A: Rates, fees and/or availability are provided upon completion of a calendar and conflict check.
- Q: Please list any fees other than those stated above (E.g.: travel expenses, copy fees, etc.)
- A: An estimated working budget is provided to you before any billable work begins, upon your review, approval, return of signed engagement agreement,designation moving papers and payment; services may be scheduled.
References provided upon request.