DOB: News Bulletin 2199 - April 14, 2006

The Department of Banking News Bulletin 

Bulletin # 2199
Week Ending April 14, 2006

This bulletin constitutes the only official notification you will receive from this office concerning any of the following applications. Any observations you may have are solicited. Any comments should be in writing to John P. Burke, Banking Commissioner, at the Connecticut Department of Banking, 260 Constitution Plaza, Hartford, CT 06103-1800 or via E-mail to john.burke@ct.gov. Written comments will be considered only if they are received within ten days from the date of this bulletin.


BRANCH ACTIVITY
State Bank Activity

Section 36a-145 of the Connecticut General Statutes requires that each application for a branch, or for a limited branch at which loans will be made, be accompanied by a plan detailing how adequate services to meet the banking needs of all community residents will be provided. Plans are submitted when such applications are filed and are available for public inspection and comment at this Department for a period of 30 days. Questions concerning branch activity should be directed to the Financial Institutions Division, (860) 240-8180.

Date Bank Location Activity
4/10/06
The Bank of Southern
   Connecticut, New Haven
* 24 Washington Avenue
   North Haven, CT 06473
approved
4/11/06
The Milford Bank
Milford
2366 Main Street
Stratford, CT  06615
filed
* To be known as The Bank of North Haven, a division
        of The Bank of Southern Connecticut

ACQUISITION
 
On April 11, 2006, pursuant to Section 36a-185 of the Connecticut General Statutes, the Commissioner issued a notice of intent not to disapprove the acquisition by First Suffield Financial, Inc., of 100 percent of the issued and outstanding common stock of The First National Bank of Suffield, Suffield, Connecticut.
 
FOREIGN BANK ACTIVITY
 
On April 13, 2006, The Governor and Company of the Bank of Ireland, a foreign bank with its principal place of business in Dublin, Ireland, filed an application pursuant to Section 36a-428a of the Connecticut General Statutes, to establish and maintain a state branch at 300 First Stamford Place, Stamford, Connecticut.
 
SECURITIES AND BUSINESS INVESTMENTS DIVISION ACTIVITY
Broker-dealer Fined $52,480 Following Conflicts
of Interest Claims Involving Research Analysts
 
On April 5, 2006, the Commissioner entered a Consent Order with respect to Thomas Weisel Partners LLC, a broker-dealer registered under the Connecticut Uniform Securities Act and having its principal office at One Montgomery Street, Suite 3700, San Francisco, California.  The Consent Order followed a coordinated investigation into the firmís research and investment banking activities conducted by a multi-state task force, and a joint task force of the Securities and Exchange Commission, New York Stock Exchange and National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc.  According to the Consent Order, Thomas Weisel Partners LLC allegedly violated Section 36b-4(b) of the Connecticut Uniform Securities Act by engaging in dishonest or unethical practices, including 1) failing to manage conflicts of interest arising from inappropriate influence exerted by the firmís investment banking department over research analysts; 2) issuing research reports that were affected by such conflicts of interest; 3) making undisclosed payments for research to other broker-dealers not involved in underwriting transactions; and 4) receiving undisclosed payments for research from outside parties in connection with underwriting transactions.  The Consent Order also alleged that the firm violated Section 36b-31-6f(b) of the Regulations under the Act by failing to establish and implement an adequate supervisory system.
 
The Consent Order fined the firm $52,480 and directed it to cease and desist from regulatory violations.

Broker Dealer Applicant Assessed $4,150 for Unregistered
Broker-dealer Activity, Investment Company Agrees to Pay
$3,500 for Investment Company Notice Filing Delinquency

On April 11, 2006, the Commissioner entered into a Stipulation and Agreement with Stralem & Company, Incorporated, a prior applicant for broker-dealer registration under the Connecticut Uniform Securities Act, and Stralem Fund, an open-end management investment company registered under the Investment Company Act of 1940.  Both entities maintain an office at 645 Madison Avenue, New York, New York.  In entering into the Stipulation and Agreement, Stralem & Company, Incorporated represented to the Commissioner that it had wound down its broker-dealer operations such that, effective January 3, 2006, it was no longer transacting business as a broker-dealer.  The Stipulation and Agreement alleged that, from at least 2003, Stralem & Company, Incorporated effected transactions in securities of the Stralem Equity Fund at a time when Stralem & Company, Incorporated was not registered as a broker-dealer in Connecticut and that, in so doing, Stralem & Company, Incorporated employed unregistered broker-dealer agents.  The Stipulation and Agreement also alleged that, from approximately September, 2003 until April 15, 2005, when a notice was filed, Stralem Fund failed to make the yearly investment company notice filing required by Section 36b-21(c) of the Act for the Stralem Equity Fund and failed to pay the related fees.
 
Pursuant to the Stipulation and Agreement, Stralem & Company, Incorporated agreed to pay $4,150 to the department.  Of that amount, $3,500 constituted an administrative fine and $650 represented reimbursement for past due broker-dealer and agent registration fees.  Under the Stipulation and Agreement, Stralem Fund agreed to pay $3,500 to the agency.  Of that amount $2,500 constituted an administrative fine and $1,000 represented reimbursement for notice filing fees covering calendar years 2003 and 2004.
 
         Dated:  Tuesday, April 18, 2006
 
         John P. Burke
         Commissioner