Representing financial professionals, financial institutions and investors in investment loss, employment and disclosure matters, and in regulatory investigations nationwide.

Former Vanguard advisor accused of poaching clients in violation of agreement

On Behalf of | Jul 12, 2022 | Firm Transition

A former advisor for Vanguard Group is facing a lawsuit over allegations he violated a nonsolicitation agreement by recruiting some of his former clients, Financial Advisor reports.

Vanguard filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina against Matthew Snipes, who left the company after 16 years to form his own firm, Topsail Wealth Management.

Vanguard claimed that Snipes, who managed over $4.75 in assets, actively sought to take some of his ultra high net worth clients with him when he left. At least five clients were said to be either considering transferring or already transferred assets to Topsail. The company also alleged that Snipes failed to give 60 days notice for his departure, violating his employment contract. “To this day, he continues his attempts to steal business from the sole company that taught him how to be a successful financial advisor and introduced him to the exceptionally wealthy clients that he has taken or hopes to take for himself,” Vanguard alleged.

Among the violations cited in Vanguard’s lawsuit were breach of contract, breach of customer non-solicitation provisions, breach of confidentiality agreements and code of ethics, and unjust enrichment. The company is seeking compensatory, punitive and exemplary damages along with costs and attorneys’ fees.

The report said that Snipes had yet to be reached for comment on the Vanguard lawsuit.

Snipes went to work for Vanguard in 2006 and eventually rose to the position of senior advisor to ultra high net worth clients.

Transitioning employment in the financial services industry requires counsel that can evaluate any potential legal implications so you can properly manage risk and focus on transitioning your clients. Lewitas Hyman offers comprehensive and sophisticated counsel to clients nationwide, originating from years of advising financial firms and registered representatives on firm transitions. Whether you are moving to a new firm or are looking to form a new firm, we will work to limit the risks you face during this transitional period. For more information, contact Lewitas Hyman at (888) 655 6002 or through our online contact form for a free consultation.