Richard Abrams: A Beacon of Financial Wisdom at UBS

Richard Abrams might be a name you’ve heard of if you’re looking for a financial adviser in New York. Richard Abrams is a top financial advisor at UBS, and he might even be sued by a group of people.

His company has a lot of moral problems, which makes it hard to accept the advice they give.

In the review of Abrams Group that comes next, I’ll talk more about these things so you can make a better choice.


Richard Abrams – The Abrams Group UBS 

Richard Abrams bus

Richard Abrams is a New York-based business advisor. He has worked in the field for a long time and is now the managing head of the Abrams Group.

Richard works for the company UBS Financial Services. But he has been in a lot of trouble because of the risky investments he suggested before the market crash of 2008.

His company also has a lot of moral problems, which I will talk about later in my Richard Abrams review.

Barron’s and Forbes have both put him on their lists of the best financial gurus more than once. But his profile shows a lot of disagreements, so I wonder what they used to judge him.

The Abrams Group UBS, which is owned by Richard, is one of the most well-known financial consulting firms in New York. Their location in New York is 299 Park Avenue, NY 10171. They help people plan for retirement, pay for college, and do a lot of other things related to investments.

But not everything that shines is gold. This is especially true when it comes to Richard Abrams UBS.

Here are some reasons why it might be dangerous to work with them.

Richard Abrams and His Various Disputes

Richard Abrams runs The Abrams Group as its managing director. Throughout his work, he has won a lot of praise and awards. But that doesn’t mean that his services are very good.

In fact, Richard Abrams and The Abrams Group have many disagreements with his company. And the latest class action lawsuit against their parent company, UBS Financial Services, doesn’t help.

Having a lot of conflicts in your FINRA BrokerCheck profile is not a good sign. It means that there is definitely something wrong with the services you offer.

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After reading all of Richard’s arguments, I realized that he was involved in the Lehman Brothers Structured Notes debate in 2007 and 2008. Because all of these cases took place at the same time.

I wrote more about that case later in the piece. But first, let’s talk about Abrams’s different disagreements.

In the case of Richard Abrams and UBS, there are five disagreements:

First Dispute 

the Abrams group dispute

This case is dated 9/10/2010 and is settled. The client had alleged that Richard had misrepresented them in connection with the sale of structured products in 2007. Richard’s client had requested $385,000 in damages.

The settlement amount was $170,000. 

Second Dispute

Richard abrams UBS dispute

This fight happened on May 6, 2009. The client said that Richard lied to them about certain purchases from September 2007 to December 2008. Also, they said that putting a quarter of the client’s retirement savings in structured notes was not a good idea.

They asked for $19,897 in damages, but the case was settled for only $15,000. Richard’s answer to this case was that the client’s husband used the organized notes complaint as a chance to make complaints that were not true.

He goes on to say that he met with the client many times and claimed that he never did anything without the client’s permission.

Financial advisors often use this as an excuse: the client knew what was going on. I think it’s one of the worst things you could say.

For example, if someone robs you and tells you that they are robbing you, can they get away with it by saying “You knew what was happening”? I don’t think any court will agree with it.

Third Dispute

Richard Abrams

This case is dated 5/4/2009. Here, the client alleged that Abrams misrepresented them in recommending structured notes in 2007. They requested $533,000 in damages and settled the case for $275,000 

Fourth Dispute

Abrams Group UBS

This case is dated 11/20/2008. According to the disclosure, the client alleged Richard had recommended him unsuitable investments and the purchase was unauthorized from October 2007 to November 2008.

His client had requested $133,000 in damages and settled the case for $150,000. 

Fifth Dispute

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The date of this case is 9/23/2008. Here, the client alleged that they hadn’t authorized the purchase of structured products in January 2008. They had requested $142,000 in damages.

The settlement amount of this case was $258,000. 

All of these disputes are related to the Lehman Brothers structured notes case, which I have discussed in detail below: 

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What was the Lehman Brothers Structured Notes Case? 

Remember the 2008 market crash? The crash which caused countless people to lose their jobs? 

The Lehman Brothers Structured Notes case was behind it. 

In 2007 and 2008, many brokerage firms and stockbrokers aggressively marketed the Lehman Brothers structured notes. Because Lehman Brothers was a reputed company, investors didn’t suspect the investment. 

The structured notes offered 100% returns, which sounds too good to be true today. But the investors didn’t know Lehman Brothers were struggling with paying their creditors. 

So, many people bought those structured notes, including Richard’s clients. Yes, Richard was one of those brokers who sold these structured notes aggressively to his clients in 2007-08. 

After a short while, Lehman Brothers went bankrupt. And most investors lost 100% of their investments. Although some of them were able to recover 20% of their investment in 2012, it’s nothing compared to the amount they had invested.

Now, UBS Financial Services, the firm Richard Abrams is an advisor at, is facing a class action lawsuit. And chances are, if you’re a client of Richard Abrams at UBS, you wouldn’t hear of this case.

Because UBS has made sure that not many people don’t hear about this case. 

The following section of my The Abrams Group review will help you learn more about the class action lawsuit:

The Class Action Lawsuit Against UBS Financial Services (Important)

UBS Financial Services had released a Yield Enhancement Strategy (YES) program several years ago. 

The advisors at UBS marketed YES as a safe, market-neutral overlay that would offer incremental returns to an investor. However, in the Fall of 2018, YES lost its investors 20% of their invested capital

Many advisors at UBS knowingly recommended this strategy to their clients because it offered higher commissions in comparison to other ones. Estimates say that around 1,500 investors lost their investments.

As a UBS Financial Services’ advisor, I’m certain Richard Abrams had suggested this strategy to his client. If you’re a client of Richard Abrams and have followed the YES strategy before 2018, you can participate in the class action lawsuit against UBS. 

You might even be eligible for damages.

Many investors have filed cases against UBS due to their YES program throughout the country. 

In December 2020, UBS had to pay $90,000 to an investor. The FINRA Dispute Resolution Services panel concluded in that case that the YES strategy was unsuitable for the investor, yet the advisor recommended this investment. 

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YES is unsuitable for investors who want early returns or income. It’s a high-risk strategy, so when the market became volatile in 2018, investors lost a lot of money. 


Why you shouldn’t work with UBS’s Richard Abrams?

Several lawsuits have been filed against Richard Abrams and his company, The Abrams Group. They could also get sued by a group of people.

Not that, though. This company has a lot going wrong.

As an advisor for UBS, Richard has to deal with a lot of moral problems. Because of these moral problems, he and his company, The Abrams Group, are more likely to give their clients bad advice.

The worst part about these wars is that not many people know about them. This is something that advisors like Richard Abrams and Threadgill Financial could use to their advantage.

Earns from Commissions

When your advisor makes money from commissions, they get a percentage of the investment they recommend to their client. 

They receive this commission from the firm whose investment they sold to their client. It’s similar to the sales field. Just as a salesperson earns commissions when they sell a particular product, an advisor in this case makes money when they “sell” an investment.

In such cases, your advisor benefits more when they recommend specific investments. It introduces bias in their advice. And they might even ignore your financial goals and requirements while suggesting investments because they are too focused on commissions. 

Richard is a Broker-Dealer

Richard Abrams is a broker-dealer. This can lead to various ethical conflicts such as revenue sharing from mutual funds, cross-selling commissioned products or selling proprietary products. 

Moreover, when your advisor is a broker-dealer, they might charge you hidden fees and you wouldn’t know about it. This would increase costs for you and would put you at a huge disadvantage.

Not only is the practice of charging hidden fees highly unethical, but it’s also quite difficult to find out. 

As a broker-dealer, your financial advisor would benefit more when you invest in particular investments. This can cause them to overlook your requirements. 

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The UBS YES class action lawsuit I mentioned above is an excellent example of such dealings. However, it’s better to be safe than sorry, isn’t it? 

Charges Extra Fees for Same Returns

According to his disclosures, Richard Abrams and his firm, The Abrams Group offer mutual funds that charge 12b-1 fees. 

Such mutual funds carry an additional fee but they don’t offer any extra returns. The 12b-1 fee is simply a distribution and marketing fee that usually goes into the pocket of the advisor (the broker). 

Many people think just because these mutual funds cost more, they might offer more returns. However, according to an SEC research, there’s no difference between the returns of mutual funds that charge 12b-1 fees and those that do not. 

Your costs would be higher with such mutual funds because of the extra fees.

In other words, Richard charges you extra for offering the same returns. You pay more while getting nothing extra in return. 

Richard Abrams is an Insurance Broker 

Another prominent red flag in the Abrams Group’s services is they are insurance brokers. This means they have a monetary incentive for recommending insurance products to their clients. 

When an advisor is an insurance broker too, they might suggest their clients get various insurance products even when they don’t need them. 

As the client, you’d think your advisor is genuinely suggesting insurance products. While, in reality, you’d only be filling their pockets. 

Being an insurance broker might also influence the kind of insurance products your advisor recommends. They might suggest insurance products that offer better commissions instead of the ones that match your needs. 


Richard Abrams is the managing director of The Abrams Group. However, he has several disputes in his FINRA BrokerCheck profile and might even face a class action lawsuit. 

Moreover, his firm has numerous conflicts of interest when it comes to giving investment advice. 

Due to these factors, I don’t think it would be best to work with Richard Abrams UBS. 

You should look for an investment advisor who benefits more when you get better returns, not when you “buy” a specific investment. After all, you are hiring a financial advisor, not a salesperson. 

If you’re a client of Richard, I recommend reviewing your returns. And if you had invested in the YES program and suffered losses, contact your attorney! 

You can also read: Review 2023

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