Brisbane woman sues nation’s biggest stockbroker
THE nation's largest retail stockbroker has been accused of "deceiving" a Brisbane mum by failing to warn her that she was at risk of losing her nest egg by continuing to follow inappropriate advice given to her by their staffer.
Carly Miskeljin, 42, a pharmacist from Carindale, has sued Morgans Financial Limited in the Supreme Court in Brisbane, claiming the Brisbane firm "intentionally and knowingly or recklessly deceived" her between December 2010 and April 2011 by failing to tell her that the investment strategies devised for her and her family by adviser David Wilkins, from its Springwood office south of Brisbane, were "inappropriate".
The mother of two told the court she and her anaesthetist husband Rob took Mr Wilkins advice in 2006 to borrow against the equity in their home to buy shares and use those shares as security for a margin loan to buy more shares with Morgans.
The couple were also advised to buy and sell options, and remained clients of Morgans through the 2007-2008 Global Financial Crisis until April 2011, when Morgans "terminated" Mr Wilkins.
They dreamed of using the profits to buy an "expensive, inner-city" Brisbane home, the court heard.
Mrs Miskeljin alleges that gearing and options were inappropriate for her family because they relied on unreasonable expectations for income flows and capital growth.
"The investment strategies were.. only suitable for a person who was… an aggressive investor… who had substantial experience in equities markets and in trading in derivatives," the claim states.
The couple kept their money with Mr Wilkins' new company until December 2012.
Mrs Miskeljin alleges Morgans never told its clients why it had sacked Mr Wilkins in April 2011, or that it had "banned" Mr Wilkins and "all other staff at the Springwood branch from options trading on behalf of" clients in December 2010.
In her lawsuit Mrs Miskeljin alleges that Mr Wilkins declared he had designed a bespoke plan specifically for the her needs and those of her husband in 2006, but by December 2010 Morgans knew that the investment strategies given to clients of the Springwood branch were "boilerplate advice without any or adequate consideration" of each clients' unique personal circumstances.
Mrs Miskeljin has asked the court for damages for negligence including exemplary damages, as well as for breach of contract, deceit and breach of fiduciary duty.
Her lawyers have told the court that the mother of two is bringing her claim on behalf of other clients of Morgans' Springwood office who allegedly also lost money based on bad advice.
The court heard that Mrs Miskeljin took out a $467,000 margin loan account, a $250,000 share line of credit , and a $70,000 personal line of credit in 2007 on Mr Wilkins' advice.
Mr Wilkins allegedly wrongly advised her that her share portfolio would be worth $1.36 million after ten years.
Four years ago the corporate cop banned Mr Wilkins for five years, until January 2020.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission probe found that he offered his options strategy to 152 clients between late 2010 and mid-2012 and wrongly told them that it carried little or no risk, and failed to take in to account their relevant personal circumstances.
Morgans is due to file their defence by March 4.
On December 13 a Supreme Court judge ordered Mrs Miskeljin file an amended claim by February 5, and the case is due to return to court on March 25.