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JPMorgan Sues Former Advisor for Allegedly Poaching Clients

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JPMorgan is suing a former advisor for allegedly poaching clients after resigning and joining Stifel.

In its action, filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Southern Division, JPMorgan asks for a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction to “maintain the status quo pending resolution of an arbitration proceeding” between JPMorgan and David M. Anderson that concurrently is being filed with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Dispute Resolution.

According to the suit, Anderson resigned from JPMorgan on June 14 and immediately joined Stifel, Nicolaus & Co., a competitor.

At the time of his resignation, Anderson worked as a Select Advisor in a bank branch office of JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A., an affiliate of JPMorgan, in Rochester, Michigan.

A request for comment from Anderson was not answered as of press time.

JPMorgan states that it “has learned that since resigning from JPMorgan and joining Stifel, Defendant has solicited at least ten JPMorgan clients to move their accounts from JPMorgan to him at Stifel.”

The ten JPMorgan clients, according to the suit, informed JPMorgan that Anderson “has solicited the clients’ business, asked the clients to meet with him at Stifel, pitched Stifel’s capabilities and products and services that they did not ask about, or otherwise attempted to get the clients to transfer their accounts to him at Stifel.”

Further, JPMorgan claims, Anderson took with him to Stifel “JPMorgan’s confidential client information, including client contact information, such as cell phone numbers, which, on information and belief, are generally not publicly available, without which he would have been unable to immediately commence calling/texting and soliciting JPMorgan clients as soon as he resigned from JPMorgan.”

Anderson “is contacting JPMorgan clients, including calls and text messages to clients on their personal cell phones, seeking to induce such clients to transfer their accounts from JPMorgan to him at Stifel,” and on one occasion visited a client’s home, according to the suit.

“Unfortunately, it appears that Defendant’s improper solicitation efforts have proved successful, as approximately 15 JPMorgan households, with assets totaling approximately $24 million, already have transferred their accounts to Defendant at Stifel,” the suit states.

JPMorgan asserts that Anderson’s conduct “constitutes a breach of his employment agreements (which contain non-solicitation and confidentiality provisions), JPMorgan’s Code of Conduct (which he agreed to abide by), and a violation of his common-law obligations to JPMorgan.”