WASHINGTON — State securities regulators in Indiana and Colorado yesterday filed separate but similar administrative complaints against Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. for allegedly taking care of favored institutional clients over retail customers holding auction-rate securities, in the latest enforcement action against so-called downstream brokerages. 

While the Denver-based firm’s institutional sales force was highly trained in selling ARS to institutional clients, its retail sales force received practically no training and routinely told clients that ARS were liquid and cash equivalent, both Indiana and Colorado said in their complaints.

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