Blogs > Transitions in Employment

Non-Solicitation & Non-Competition

Nov 29, 2017

In The News: UBS Exits Protocol for Broker Recruiting

Yet another departure:  UBS Wealth Management Americas has followed in Morgan Stanley’s footsteps and announced its exit from the Protocol for Broker Recruiting on Monday, effective this Friday, December 1. However, prior to this announcement, UBS was ready to onboard at least two Merrill Lynch brokers still protected by the pact. Brokers leaving either Morgan Stanley or UBS will be subject to non-solicit agreements that the Protocol overrode, making moves a bit more difficult, but not impossible.… Read More

Nov 09, 2017

In The News: 7 Ways Morgan Stanley’s Protocol Exit Will Backfire

You may recall, I posted about Morgan Stanley withdrawing from the Protocol for Broker Recruiting last week. I recently had the pleasure of being interviewed about this news by Mark Elzweig of OnWallStreet, an information resource for financial advisors. Read his article “7 ways Morgan Stanley’s protocol exit will backfire” here to learn more and see what else I have to say about the shocking news!… Read More

Oct 30, 2017

Morgan Stanley Withdrawing from the Protocol for Broker Recruiting

The breaking news that Morgan Stanley will be withdrawing as a signatory to the Protocol for Broker Recruiting may signal the beginning of the end for the Protocol– at least as it relates to the wire house firms. Will other firms follow suit and start to depart? While there have always been outliers (or those firms who have not signed on), this departure will enhance the significance of non-solicitation covenants in the marketplace because those leaving or joining Morgan Stanley will no longer move under the protective dome of the Protocol.… Read More

Nov 11, 2016

IN THE NEWS: J.P. Morgan Pursues Arbitration Case Against Advisors

I was recently interviewed by Fundfire, a financial services industry on-line publication, regarding J.P. Morgan obtaining a temporary restraining order as it pursues an arbitration case against seven advisors who left to launch an independent shop with LPL Financial. This is yet another case involving the protections of the industry’s agreement called the Protocol for Broker Recruiting.

On October 27, seven private bank advisors left and registered with LPL, launching Gulf Point Advisors, which focuses on working with family offices.… Read More

May 06, 2013

Don’t Alert Clients Before Defecting

When it comes to financial advisers switching firms, the old adage – loose lips sink ships – holds true.

When a financial adviser is plotting to jump ship, the temptation to tell clients is often strong.  Stifle it, and stay mum.


New firms often don’t appreciate being drawn into lawsuits or arbitration over solicitation. Clients don’t like it, either.

“You’re also potentially subjecting your clients to be asked to testify as to the nature and scope of your communications,” said David Harmon, an employment attorney and partner at Norris McLaughlin & Marcus in New York.

Read More

Dec 07, 2012

Not My iPhone!

In the arena of post-employment non-solicitation/confidentiality litigation, employers and employees should be aware of a November 15, 2012 decision by the First Department of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York in AllianceBernstein LP v. Atha. In this case, Atha, a financial analyst who left AllianceBernstein (AB) for Morgan Stanley, was sued by AB, claiming he violated the confidentiality provisions of his employment agreement by taking confidential information, including client lists, to Morgan Stanley for the purpose of soliciting those clients.  … Read More

Apr 18, 2012

Other Restrictions May Also Confine Post-Termination Activities

In addition to the potential violations of confidentiality and non-disparagement provisions contemplated by a “tell-all” book about Goldman Sachs, Greg Smith should also consider garden leave and/or non- competition/non-solicitation restrictions. If Smith had a new job lined up before resigning, did he make the new employer aware of the restrictions to which he was bound?   If these post-employment restrictions are  reasonable in scope and duration, and protect Goldman’s legitimate interests, Smith (and possibly his new employer)  will need to be mindful of not overstepping the boundaries of the restrictions.… Read More