Reference: 12-16-05 Edition of the The Wall Street Journal, page C-13.
Stephen Sawtelle was a top producing broker with Waddell & Reed (WR), when he was fired in 1997. (No reason given for his termination.) In an attempt to retain his clients, WR immediately hired a telemarketing firm to call each one. (No word on what the telemarketingscript said about the departing Mr. Sawtelle.) WR also sent letters to each client saying that Mr. Sawtelle was "not authorized" to handle their accounts.
Apparently, during this "activity", WR made a point of smearing Mr. Sawtelle's good name to his clients. So, Mr. Sawtelle sued WR and, in 2001, an arbitration panel awarded him $27.6 million dollars for "reprehensible conduct" on the part of WR. (It seems that WR has been fighting thisjudgment ever since.) Then this year, Mr. Sawtelle finally settled, with WR agreeing to pay him$7.9 million in punitive damages. This is on top of the $1.2 million in compensatory damages and $728,000 in legal fees already paid by WR.
So, why do I say thank you, Mr. Sawtelle? And why shouldn't you also thank Mr. Sawtelle? What better attachment to haveon your letter of resignation, than a copy of this reprinted article from the Wall Street Journal? (With the appropriate portions highlighted, of course!) If you ever leave your B/D, thisarticle might give them pause to smear your good name, in an aggressive attempt to retain your clients.