Former CMBS strategist for UBS Securities filed complaints with different courts, claiming that UBS and its parent corporation, UBS AG, fired him unjustly.
Trevor Murray said he was let go by the investment bank for notifying his supervisors that he was being pressured to release incorrect and misleading research to portray UBS’ products in a better light. The complaints were filed with the United States District court, Southern District of New York, and the United States Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
While at UBS Securities, Murray was responsible for conducting research and creating reports about CMBS products that were circulated to its current and potential clients, and in which the firm held trading positions.
However, according to the complaints, those involved in CMBS trading and commercial mortgage origination in the firm told Murray to skew his sector research to appear more favorable. The complaints said that the overall head of CMBS trading and loans origination gave Murray specific instructions to “improve conditions in the CMBS market."
Murray refused to create any report that was inconsistent with his own research, notwithstanding the pressure. He also complained to his supervisors that he was being pressured to produce misleading reports on several occasions. As a response, his supervisors instructed him to depict "what the business line wanted." Even though UBS Securities gave Murray a favorable job review, they terminated his employment nearly one month after his latest complaint.
The complaints accused UBS Securities and UBS AG of violating provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010. These provisions protect whistleblowers from retribution for informing their supervisors about and refusing to play a part in conduct that they rightfully believe violated the laws and rules designed to protect consumers from deceitful practices with regards to the sale of securities.
"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,” said Robert B. Stulberg, a founding partner at Broach & Stulberg who is Murray’s lawyer. “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."