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What Every Aegis Investor Needs to Know

Securities Lawyer Jonathan Kurta
By: Jonathan Kurta Author

Over 400 financial professionals are registered with Aegis Capital Corporation (CRD #: 15007), which is both a brokerage firm and an investment advisory firm. Aegis Capital Corp was established in 1984 and its main office is in New York City, New York.

Aegis Capital Corp also operated under the following names:

  • Vast Wealth Advisors
  • Sternaegis Ventures
  • Silvestri Asset Management LLC

Can I Sue Aegis Capital Corp?

Yes, you can recover losses you suffered while working with an Aegis Capital Corp broker. Most investors, however, have signed a pre-dispute arbitration agreement as part of their investment contract, meaning they must recover losses through FINRA arbitration rather than suing in civil court. FINRA arbitration is meant to be a cheaper and more streamlined process than civil proceedings. Talk to a securities lawyer today to find out if you have a case for FINRA arbitration.

Regulatory Actions: Fines and Settlements

Investors should be aware of the firm’s most recent regulatory actions. If you want to see the complete list of their regulatory actions, consult their detailed BrokerCheck record.

Variable Interest Rate Structured Products (VRSPs)

According to an SEC Cease-and-Desist Order dated July 28, 2022, Aegis brokers recommended unsuitable and highly complex investments to customers. FINRA Rule 2111 and Regulation Best Interest requires brokerage firms and their representatives to recommend investments that align with their customer’s financial goals and risk tolerance. Aegis brokers allegedly recommend risky variable interest rate structured products (VRSPs) to 48 retail customers.

Further, the SEC alleges that Aegis made material misstatements concerning the VRSPs. Aegis representatives allegedly falsely stated that the VRSPs came with principal protection.

The same Cease-and-Desist Order alleges an Aegis broker engaged in unauthorized trading.

As part of the Offer Settlement, Aegis agreed to repay investors $165,828 plus prejudgment interest, in addition to a civil penalty of $2.3 million to the SEC.

Alleged Failure to Catch Signs of Excessive Commissions

Excessive trading (also known as commission abuse) occurs when a broker executes so many trades in an investor account that the transaction fees make it difficult or impossible for the investor to see a return on their investments. On November 8, 2021, FINRA alleged in an Acceptance, Waiver and Consent agreement (AWC) that Aegis failed to maintain an adequate supervisory system to catch this type of misconduct. As a result, 31 firm customers allegedly suffered cumulative losses of $4.6 million and paid fees totaling more than $2.9 million.

The AWC further alleges that Aegis brokers failed to supervise the recommendations of risky non-traditional exchange-traded funds. Allegedly, 15 customers who purchased NT-ETFs lost $132,463.

As part of the terms of the AWC, Aegis consented to a fine of $1.05 million and a restitution payment of $1.69 million.

Alleged Failure to Execute Trades

On March 10, 2021, Aegis Capital consented to the findings that the firm failed to adhere to FINRA Rule 5310, which requires brokers to ascertain the best market for the purchase or sale of a security. This requirement is meant to ensure the best price for the customer. The AWC alleges these failures affected 26 corporate bond transactions.

As part of the terms of the Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent agreement (AWC), Aegis consented to a fine of $80,000 and a restitution payment of $43,912.89, plus interest.

Miniature scales sit on a desk next to a gavel.

Aegis Capital Broker Fees

Read the complete description of fees that Aegis may impose in their Form CRS Disclosure Supplement. Brokerage fees are different from advisory fees. Advisory fees are typically a percentage of the total assets under management.

Investors should know about the following brokerage account fees:

  • Wire Transfer Fees
  • Inactivity Fees
  • Account Transfer Fees
  • Account Maintenance Fees
  • Process and Handling Fees

Additional Third-Party Compensation for Brokers

Aegis Capital Corp also discloses the following third-party compensation for brokers:

  • Mutual Fund Concessions and Finder’s Fees: The mutual fund company may offer Aegis additional compensation in cases where the sales charge is waived.
  • Cash Sweeps: The firm receives compensation when a cash balance is moved to a fund or another type of account that generates revenue for the firm.
  • Margin or Line of Credit: The firm receives a percentage of these loans.

Aegis Capital Conflicts of Interest

Brokerage firms are required to inform you about their conflicts of interest. Under Regulation Best Interest, the firm should also take steps to eliminate or reduce their conflicts of interest.

Frequency of Transactions

Because Aegis receives a payment every time you execute a transaction, they have an incentive to encourage you to trade more frequently. They also have an incentive to encourage you to invest more money.

Proprietary Trading

Aegis Capital has an incentive to execute securities using securities from its own inventory, even though those trades may not result in the best price for the customer.

Outside Business Activities

Brokers may engage in outside business activities if approved by the firm. Your broker could have an incentive to recommend products outside the scope of the firm for their own financial benefit.

Non-Cash Compensation

Brokers may enjoy certain benefits associated with recommending investments. Investment sponsors may provide firms with sporting event tickets, dinners, and small gifts. This creates a conflict of interest that investors may not be aware of.

Fees and Commissions

Many types of investments come with commissions for the firm.


  • Bonds and Fixed Income Securities (including Collateralized Mortgage Obligations): These types of securities come with markup or markdown fees. The maximum markup or markdown is 3% of the total investment.
  • Mutual Funds and 529 Plans: Aegis may receive up to 6% commissions on mutual funds. Investors should know that brokers are required to tell their clients if they are eligible for a breakpoint discount when they purchase shares of mutual funds.
  • Annuities: Fees for annuities can vary based on the annuity share class but are typically up to 8%.
  • Alternative Investments: These are risky investments that may come with significant commissions for brokers – up to 10% for investments like hedge funds, private equity funds, real estate investment trusts (REITs), and business development companies (BDCs).
  • Structured Products: Aegis typically receives commissions of as much as 5% on structured products.
  • Unit Investment Trusts (UITs): These types of investments usually feature sales charges of up to 5%.
  • Insurance Products: Aegis may receive compensation for insurance products. These commissions can vary, anywhere from 20% to 120% of the first 12 months in premiums. Insurance companies may offer financial professionals bonus payments.

What Types of Services and Investments Does Aegis Offer?

According to their website, this Aegis specializes in the following:

  • Wealth management
  • Investment banking
  • Equity research
  • Retirement Planning
  • Fixed Income Investments
  • Private Equity
  • Insurance
  • Alternative Investments

Some of these products, like alternative investments, are especially risky. Investors who suffered losses after working with an Aegis Capital broker should consider if their broker had a conflict of interest that motivated them to place their own financial benefit ahead of their customer’s needs.


Aegis Capital Brokers

Aegis Capital employs financial professionals that are often registered as both brokers and investment advisers. (Read about the differences here.)

These brokers are currently registered with Aegis Capital or have registered with Aegis in the past 10 years: