Wells Fargo accused a Florida legal professional and former in-house counsel for the agency with serving to a bunch of Wells Fargo Advisors monetary advisors with greater than $1.2 billion in collective property beneath administration depart the agency and begin their very own unbiased apply, the place he now works.
Wells Fargo filed a go well with in Ohio federal courtroom towards Steven Satter for his alleged function in serving to the advisors depart a Kenwood, Ohio department of the wirehouse. Based on Wells Fargo, the advisors left the agency to ascertain DayMark Wealth Companions, which was shaped in March of this 12 months and situated a number of miles from Wells Fargo Advisors’ (WFA) Kenwood workplace.
“Wells Fargo seeks damages for hurt attributable to a former worker who has used the privileged and confidential data he gained as an organization legal professional to advise a competing agency in violation of his agreements, moral obligations, and firm coverage,” a Wells Fargo Advisors spokesperson stated concerning the go well with. “As an worker, he offered authorized counsel on behalf of Wells Fargo Advisors (WFA) to the identical staff of advisors he now advises in competing with WFA.”
DayMark Wealth Companions is affiliated with Dynasty Monetary Companions, and runs on the Dynasty platform.
Satter had been with Wells Fargo since 2008, and “was liable for employment and litigation issues” in a area together with the Kenwood workplace. Based on WFA, Satter’s “sole perform” on the agency was to advise it on hiring practices, fiduciary responsibility claims and non-solicitation and contractual obligations.
In April of this 12 months, Satter reportedly advised Wells Fargo he was “retiring,” however as an alternative labored to assist create DayMark, in keeping with the criticism. Satter is without doubt one of the group’s founding companions and its authorized counsel, in keeping with an announcement of the RIA’s launch.
Wells Fargo believed the plot to depart the agency and located DayMark started in summer season 2021, with the group of advisors planning to solicit different WFA staff and shoppers to depart with them, together with Michael Quin, a market supervisor for WFA’s Ohio area who had a “longstanding shut relationship” with Satter.
As soon as Satter discovered concerning the plans of Quin and the others, he didn’t report them to Wells Fargo, and commenced utilizing the data he gained at WFA to supply employment and litigation counsel to the DayMark staff, serving to the advisors to plan their departures from Wells Fargo.
A “DayMark” area identify and web site had been created the identical day Satter introduced his plans to retire, in keeping with the go well with. The seven advisors collectively resigned from Wells Fargo on June 6 and commenced instantly working at DayMark.
“Mr. Satter was in a novel place to make the most of his expertise and inside data of delicate WFA data – which he gained as WFA’s senior counsel – for the advantage of DayMark and the previous staff,” the go well with learn.
Wells Fargo argued it had opened FINRA arbitration proceedings towards the departed advisors, and stated it was “inevitable” that Satter would disclose Wells Fargo “commerce secrets and techniques, privileged, and confidential data” when providing recommendation to DayMark’s new enterprise.
Satter didn’t return a request for remark as of press time.
Wells Fargo is searching for an injunction for Satter in utilizing any confidential data gleaned from the wirehouse, in addition to compensatory and punitive damages.