Unleashing Brilliance: Jacqueline Willens’ Impact on UBS

Jacqueline Willens works for UBS in New York as a business advisor. She is the managing head of the Willens Group and has had several disagreements with her clients.

Her work has a lot of moral problems that make it hard to trust the advice she gives.

Due to the different conflicts of interest in her firm’s terms and conditions, Jacqueline may not be giving her customers the best financial advice. You might be one of the many clients who don’t even know this.

In the next piece, we’ll look at some things that Jacqueline Willens UBS would rather you didn’t know. But you should know all of this so that you can make a better choice:

Jacqueline Willens – Who is She?

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Jacqueline WIllens works as a financial planner for UBS and runs The WIllens Group. She has been a financial adviser at UBS for 28 years and is one of the most well-known women in the field.

But she hasn’t done very well in the past. She has been in a lot of fights and has done other bad things in the past.

The background on the website of her company, The Willens Group, doesn’t say much about her other than how great she is. Willens has been named one of Barron’s Top 1200 Financial Advisors.

She works with both big businesses and small businesses. Cheryl Petrigliano is a Senior Wealth Strategy Associate, Lynn Baker is an Investment Associate, and David Wyss is a Senior Wealth Strategy Associate. They all work at her company.

The Willens Group, which is Jacqueline’s company, is based in New York. Its address is 1285 Ave of the Americas 15th, 16th, 17th, and 18th Floors, New York, NY 10019.

Barron’s and Forbes have both put her on their lists of Top Financial Advisors. When you look at her knowledge and awards, you might think she’s the best advisor for your needs.

But it’s not that simple.

This review will show you that Jacqueline’s services have a lot of problems that you might not know about. On top of that, she has been in more than one disagreement, which makes it hard to believe in her professional reputation.

And let’s not forget that UBS managers are also being sued as a group.

Jacqueline Willens and Her Sketchy Past

Jacqueline Willens seems like an impeccable advisor if you only look at her accolades. However, she has been involved in some very dangerous dealings, putting her clients at excessive risk. 

In 1997, Jacqueline was part of a scam that took $7.5 million. A coin shop owner named Richard A. Scott had tricked about 100 people all over the country.

Because of Scott, many people had lost most of their life savings. Some of Jacqueline Willens’ clients had been told to invest with Scott as well.

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Scott had told people that he was close with Jacqueline and that it helped him make a lot of money from his businesses. Jacqueline worked for PaineWebber at the time.

When the reporters asked Willens questions, she sent them to the firm’s legal department. She couldn’t even look at anyone.

It’s not a good idea to tell your clients to spend with a con artist. It’s not right in any way.

This makes it hard to believe in the Willens Group. How can you trust an investment advisory firm whose managing head told people to invest in a scam? I was unable.

Jacqueline Willens UBS Disclosures

A FINRA BrokerCheck profile is something that every financial adviser has. This profile shows you about their history, what qualifications they have, and, most importantly, what problems they have had with customers.

Because of this, you should always check the FINRA BrokerCheck background of your advisor. No guide is going to tell you about a fight they had with someone else on their own.

They wouldn’t want to do something that would make them look bad.

But it’s important to look at an advisor’s BrokerCheck page because it tells you what’s really going on with them.

Remember that even a small fight can be a big deal.

On Jacqueline’s FINRA BrokerCheck page, you can find two disputes.

First Dispute

The date of Jacqueline’s first fight is October 4, 1997. The Maryland Division of Securities made the agreement. Jacqueline Willens agreed in the consent order to stop being a broker-dealer, not reapply to be a broker-dealer or financial advisor and follow the Maryland Securities Act in the future.

In simple terms, she can’t work in the area where the Maryland Division of Securities is in charge.

She told this consent order that she didn’t know about Goldie’s (Scott, the scammer’s business) bad behaviour. I think it’s funny because if she really didn’t know, she wouldn’t have suggested it to her clients as an investment.

On the other hand, if she really didn’t know, it means she doesn’t do enough study on the investments she recommends, which is very unprofessional.

In both cases, it shows that Jacqueline might not be as smart as she seems to be because of her awards.

Second Dispute

It is also about the $7.5 million scam that Jacqueline was a part of. Here, her boss at PaineWebber stepped in to stop the fight. They didn’t want the attention that would come with such a case.

The date of the disagreement is 5/20/1996. In this case, the client said that some purchases in stocks made between December 1993 and April 1995 were not good. They asked for damages of $127,947.

PaineWebber paid $35,000 to end the case.

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The Class Action Lawsuit Against UBS Financial Services

You might think that the cases I mentioned are too old to be important. But it was important to talk about them.

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And right now, Jacqueline Willens UBS and her company might have to pay out more losses. Why?

The UBS YES case is the reason.

The Yield Enhancement Strategy, or YES, scheme from UBS is a short volatility/short option strategy. It wasn’t good for buyers who didn’t like taking risks or who wanted to get money back from their investments.

But because it had an attractive advisor fee of 1.75 per cent, many UBS advisors told their clients to use this program, no matter what their goals or needs were.

In the fall of 2018, YES investors lost about 20% of the money they had put into the scheme.

It was just carelessness and greed.

About 1500 UBS investors lose their money because of the YES plan, according to estimates.


Investors all across the country are filing lawsuits against UBS Financial Services. Just recently, UBS had to pay $90,000 to an investor because of the YES program. 

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The Various Ethical Conflicts with Jacqueline Willens UBS 

Jacqueline Willens and her firm, The Willens Group have a plethora of ethical conflicts. However, many people might overlook these issues simply because of her accolades and her experience. 

Knowing about these conflicts in her services would help you realise why she isn’t the best financial advisor out there. 

These conflicts of interest incentivize her for ignoring her clients’ requirements. The following points will illustrate them better: 

Jacqueline Willens is a Broker-Dealer

Jacqueline is a broker-dealer. The prominent issue with broker-dealers is they have leeway to charge hidden fees. 

Hidden fees increase your costs significantly and you don’t even know about them. 

It also leads to additional conflicts of interest where the advisor can exploit their client. For example, revenue sharing from mutual funds, cross-selling of commissioned products, sale of proprietary investments, etc. 

In this case, the advisor doesn’t focus on your needs, they focus on their own. Instead of helping you find investments suitable for your financial requirements, they would recommend you investments from their affiliates. 

The $7.5 million lawsuit we discussed was based on a similar situation. Here, Jacqueline presumably recommended a scammer to her clients because it suited her interests. 

Makes Money from Commissions

Jacqueline’s and UBS’s terms and conditions suggest that she makes money from commissions

Note that there’s a huge difference between commissions and fees. When your advisor earns from commissions, they get a percentage of the investment they recommended to you. 

They get this commission from the company whose investments they “sell”. You can say that when an advisor earns commissions, they act like sales professionals such as a car salesman. 

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However, when you’re dealing with a car salesman, you know they’ll get commissions from the sale of a car. But in the case of financial advisors, you probably wouldn’t know if your advisor is earning commissions from the investment they recommend to you. 

A huge problem with commission-based compensation is that the advisor will benefit more from recommending specific investments. It would influence their suggestions. 

And they might ignore your unique requirements and focus on their commissions. 

After all, you don’t expect to hire a salesman when you hire a financial advisor, do you? 

Gets paid through commissions

The terms and conditions for both Jacqueline and UBS say that she makes money from fees.

Note that sales and fees are very different from each other. When your advisor gets paid through commissions, they get a cut of the money you put into the trade they suggested.

The company whose investments they “sell” gives them this fee. You could say that when a financial adviser gets a commission, they act like a car salesman.
But when you deal with a car dealer, you know that he or she will get a cut of the sale. But when it comes to financial advisors, you probably wouldn’t know if the trade they tell you to make earns them commissions.

One big problem with commission-based pay is that the advisor will make more money if they suggest certain trades. It would change what they suggested.

And they might not care about your specific needs because they are more interested in their fees.

When you hire a financial adviser, you don’t expect to get a salesman, do you?

Jacqueline works as a broker for insurance.

When your financial advisor is also an insurance broker, it means that they make money by selling insurance goods and getting commissions.

In other words, they are people who sell insurance.

This can lead to a lot of trouble. First, it gives the advisor a reason to suggest insurance goods that don’t need to be bought.

You might think they care about your safety, but they only care about how much money they can make.

Commissions also come into play when you are an insurance broker. Some insurance goods would have commissions that were higher than others. So, it makes sense that Jacqueline would focus on goods that give her higher commissions instead of your needs.

Charges more for giving the same returns

UBS has mutual funds with 12b-1 fees, says Jacqueline Willens.

The 12b-1 fee is a promotion fee, and most of the time, the advisor gets to keep it. Because of this fee, the mutual fund costs more, so you have to pay more.

You might think that because this investment costs more, you’ll get a better return. That doesn’t happen, though. SEC did a study to compare the results of mutual funds that charge 12b-1 fees and those that don’t.

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They found that the returns from these two purchases were the same. In fact, you’d get less money back because you’d have to pay an extra fee.

So, you’d pay more without getting anything extra in return.

Puts Clients at Excessive Risk

Jacqueline gets paid based on how well her work does. When your financial advisor charges a performance-based fee, they only get paid if they beat a standard, such as an index. On paper, this pay plan might look like a very good deal. But it is very risky.

With a performance-based fee system, the advisor has an incentive to use high-risk strategies. Such moves could do a lot of damage to your finances.

A study found that mutual funds with a performance-based fee system take too many risks and don’t do very well. A high-risk approach is especially dangerous in a down market, like the one we are in now because of pandemics. In a down market, a high-risk plan can quickly wipe out a big part of your investment.

Performance-based fees also have a bad legal past. Only in 1985 did the SEC start letting advisors use this fee system, and even then, only for qualified clients.

Before that, the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 had made it illegal for RIAs. They did this to stop investors from using high-risk tactics that hurt them.

Because Willens charges such a high fee, it’s possible that she’s putting her customers through too many risks that aren’t necessary. And these risks could cause those people to lose all of their money at once.

Jacqueline Sells Proprietary Investments

One of the biggest banking companies is UBS Banking Services. It has a lot of investments and goods that it owns.

As a UBS advisor, Jacqueline Willens would be better off telling her clients to buy UBS goods because they would pay her better fees and commissions.

In other words, she has a reason to suggest investments that don’t meet the needs of her clients.

Consider the YES program as an example. Since UBS’s YES program pays high commissions, it’s likely that many of the company’s managers ignored their clients’ needs and suggested this proprietary product instead. Because this program didn’t work well, clients are now suing UBS as a group because of how bad it was.

Also, when financial expert sells their own investments, they can’t offer their clients as many different kinds of investments.

Most of the time, advisors who sell their own investments don’t suggest investments from other companies or people who aren’t affiliated with them. So, you miss out on a lot of great chances.

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