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Lawsuit accuses 2 former TD Bank advisors of stealing company secrets, clients

On Behalf of | May 29, 2024 | Financial Advisor Misconduct

Two of TD Bank’s former advisors who left for Raymond James have been hit with a lawsuit over allegedly breaking their non-solicitation agreements, Financial Advisor reports.

TD Bank and its subsidiary, TD Private Client Wealth, filed the suit in U.S. District Court in Connecticut against Brett Bartkiewicz and Gregg Desmarais, who left the firm late last month.  Also named were Raymond James Financial Services; and the Raymond James-affiliated firm the advisors joined, Crescent Point Private Wealth of Glastonbury, Conn.

TD Bank asserts that Bartkiewicz and Desmarais signed agreements to maintain the bank’s confidentiality and trade secrets and that for 12 months after the end of their employment at TD Private Client Wealth, the two agreed they would not contact, call upon or solicit any client to lure their business from the bank.

But after they departed, TD Private Client Wealth says it received information leading the firm to believe the two advisors were contacting at least 12 TD Private Client Wealth customers directly and offering significant discounts in fees or product deals to entice them to move their business to Raymond James.  In at least one case, a 15% fee reduction was offered.

TD says it lost at least 10 accounts worth over $22 million in value in one week after Bartkiewicz and Desmarais left.  “In their positions as Private Client Investment Advisor and Relationship Manager, both men were intimately familiar with TD Bank’s fee structure, including the fees that were charged to specific customers,” the complaint said.  The two, who had been with TD Private Client Wealth since 2016, are also alleged to have stolen company secrets.

The advisors are accused of breach of contract, tortious interference with that contract, and violation of Connecticut’s Unfair Trade Practices Act. Raymond James and Crescent Point are both accused of aiding and abetting the advisors in these acts.

The plaintiffs are seeking a temporary restraining order to block the advisors from working with the former TD Bank clients they allegedly solicited. The suit asks for compensatory and punitive damages, as well as recouping all gains received in connection with those clients.

TD Bank’s attorneys, both advisors, and Raymond James did not immediately respond to requests for comment, according to the report.

Lewitas Hyman routinely represents investors harmed when financial professionals and their firms engaged in misconduct that caused their clients investment losses. If you think your financial professional or firm engaged in misconduct that caused investment losses, contact the Chicago investor fraud attorneys of Lewitas Hyman to schedule a free consultation by calling (888) 655 6002 or through our online contact form.