KMOV - Clients of a national investment firm will finally get access to their money after nearly two years of being locked out.
Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan and the Attorney General’s Office announced Monday that investment firm Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. will return up to $41 million to investors by the end of next year after a settlement was reach by Carnahan’s office.
According to the settlement, every customer holding auction rate securities will receive partial payout by January 15, 2010. Also, all investors that held $150,000 or less will be completely paid back by December 2010.
"The number one goal of my office has always been to get Stifel investors their money back as quickly as possible," Carnahan said. "With this settlement, 90% of Missourians and 80% of Stifel customers nationwide will be made whole by the end of 2010, many of them a year and half ahead of Stifel's original buyback offer."
This action also settles a lawsuit filed by the Missouri Attorney General's Office.
When the auction rate market collapsed in February 2008, investors were left with no access to their funds. Over the past year, hundreds of investors called Secretary Carnahan's office because they could not access their money.
"It's good to have this settled. Stifel did the right thing by buying these investments back," said Roy Gerdel, a Stifel investor from Missouri.
Since the meltdown, major financial firms across the country have worked with state regulators to buy back auction rate securities from their clients.