Trevor Murray, former Senior Commercial Mortgage Backed Securities (CMBS) Strategist for UBS Securities, LLC, by his attorneys Broach & Stulberg, LLP, on August 2, 2012, filed complaints with the United States District Court, Southern District of New York (15-CV-5914 JF/JLC) and the United States Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, asserting that UBS Securities, LLC and its parent corporation, UBS AG, terminated him in retaliation for informing his supervisors that he was being pressured to publish false and misleading research intended to favor the investment bank’s products and trading positions.

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The complaints charge that, in taking this action, UBS Securities and UBS AG violated provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 protecting whistleblowers from retaliation for informing their supervisors about, and refusing to participate in, conduct that they reasonably believe violated laws and rules designed to protect consumers from fraudulent practices in connection with the sale of securities.
At UBS Securities, Mr. Murray was responsible for performing research and creating reports about CMBS products that were distributed to its current and potential clients, and in which UBS Securities held trading positions. According to the complaints, Mr. Murray was the target of a concerted effort by UBS Securities members involved in CMBS trading and commercial mortgage origination to skew his research to appear more favorable to the investment bank’s CMBS products and trading positions.

The complaints allege that UBS Securities’ efforts included the following: The overall head of CMBS trading and loan origination urged Mr. Murray, in words or effect, to help ‘improve conditions in the CMBS market’ because this was to be a ‘significant revenue generator’ for the investment bank at UBS AG. Mr. Murray was specifically instructed not to publish research that was unfavorable to securities and loan positions to which UBS had exposure. When Mr. Murray expressed concern about securities products that UBS promoted to its clients, he was criticized and ostracized. Despite this pressure, Mr. Murray refused to produce any report that was inconsistent with his own research. On several occasions, he complained to his supervisors at UBS Securities that he was being pressured to produce misleading reports. His supervisors took no corrective action in response to Mr. Murray’s complaints, but instead instructed him to write, in words or effect, ‘what the business line wanted.’ Although Mr. Murray received a favorable job review, UBS Securities terminated his employment approximately one month after his most recent complaint.
The complaints assert that UBS Securities’ decision to terminate Mr. Murray was motivated by his voicing concerns about, and his refusal to accede to, pressure and coercion by various members of CMBS trading and loan origination at UBS to produce research that Mr. Murray reasonably believed violated laws and rules designed to protect consumers from fraudulent practices in connection with the sale of securities, and laws, rules, orders, standards or prohibitions subject to the jurisdiction of, or enforceable by, the United States Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Mr. Murray’s attorney, Robert B. Stulberg of Broach & Stulberg, LLP, stated today: ‘UBS discharged Trevor Murray, a leading investment strategist, because he repeatedly spoke up about, and would not give in to, pressure to skew his research in ways that would mislead investors and the public and favor the firm’s own financial interests. In enacting the Dodd-Frank and Sarbanes-Oxley Acts, Congress sought to help consumers by protecting whistleblowers such as Mr. Murray. We are confident that the law will provide our client with a full and fair remedy for UBS’s unlawful conduct.