LPL Financial announced this week that it is severing ties with a Nederland, Texas, registered representative and accountant after alleged evidence of apparently racist hiring practices swept across social media.

The nation's largest independent broker-dealer told Financial Advisor it was ending its relationship with Eileen Law Cure, founder and principal of Cure & Associates, an accounting and hybrid RIA firm with offices in Nederland and Montgomery, Texas.

“Following our process for review of advisor conduct, Ms. Cure is no longer a client of the firm,” said LPL in a statement.

Cure found herself at the center of a social media firestorm after TikTok contributor “auntkaren0” published screenshots from an apparent Skype chat between Cure and a staff member. According to published reports, Cure is contemplating legal action against the TikTok poster.

Cure allegedly wrote on Skype:

“Also I wanted to tell you i specifically said no blacks, I’m not a prejudice person (sic), but our clients are 90% white and i need to cater to them … so that interview was a complete waste of my time, so please don’t second guess me or go against what I ask, listen to me and give me what i ask for, please."

From there, Cure’s comments were circulated within activist communities across several social media platforms, including Twitter and Facebook, leading many participants to contact LPL and industry groups directly to challenge the organizations’ ties to Cure.

Speaking anonymously, a broker-dealer recruiting specialist told Financial Advisor that Cure is likely to find another firm now that LPL has cut ties.

Marie Swift, president and CEO of Impact Communications and a social media specialist, noted that advisors can no longer assume that internal communications will remain private and internal.

“The reality is that nothing is really private anymore,” wrote Swift in an e-mail to Financial Advisor. “Comments can be captured and shared on social media, via texts and emails. Smartphones are everywhere, and anyone who takes issue with a comment or demeanor can capture video or audio and create a hailstorm like the one we are seeing now.”

Even if Cure’s comments were taken out of context, Swift said the representative had made the mistake of brusquely discussing sensitive issues on Skype, and that Cure & Associates now faces serious reputational damage from the revealed messages.

Swift also argued that LPL has struck the right tone in handling the situation.

“From a PR standpoint, LPL has done a very good job with its simple, concise statements on social media. I would expect nothing less from a respected financial services firm with professional communicators and leaders at the helm. All good PR teams have a crisis communications plan in place so that they are ready with 'holding statements' and a strategically chosen, media-trained spokesperson who can communicate clearly and stay on message under fire.”

Cure did not respond to Financial Advisor's attempts to contact her in time for the publication of this story, but she deny the allegations by e-mail on Thursday afternoon.