Wachovia ordered to pay $1.1M after panel rejects its raiding claims
By Dan Jamieson
December 18, 2009, 4:41 PM EST Post a Comment Recommend (19)
A Finra arbitration panel yesterday rejected a raiding claim brought by Wachovia Securities LLC against Stifel Nicolaus & Co. Inc. and ordered Wachovia pay $1.1 million in attorneys' fees for Stifel and four of its brokers.
The brokers — Frank Brand, Marvin Slaughter, Stephen Jones and George Stukes — joined Stifel in January 2008 from A.G. Edwards in South Carolina. Wachovia, which bought A.G. Edwards Inc. in 2007, has since been renamed Wells Fargo Advisors LLC.
The arbitrators awarded the legal costs under South Carolina's Frivolous Civil Proceedings Act, according to the award, which was issued by a three-member panel from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc.
The award also ordered the parties to advise a federal judge in South Carolina that sworn declarations filed by Wachovia Securities “may contain materially false representations of fact,” and that a videotape used as evidence by Wachovia to obtain a temporary restraining order from the court “does not support the allegations” made by the firm.
The panel dismissed the restraining order and also ordered Wachovia to pay all of the $73,000 in hearing fees.
The arbitration decision “speaks for itself,” said Ron Kruszewski, chief executive of Stifel Financial Corp. of St. Louis.
"Wells Fargo Advisors is very disappointed by this decision," said Tony Mattera, a spokesman for Wells Fargo Advisors, in a statement. "We believe the case was wrongly decided and we intend to move to vacate the award."