As we have discussed on this Blog over the past several years, the Protocol for Broker Recruiting (“Protocol”) allows for reciprocal poaching of brokers. More specifically, if a broker leaves one Protocol firm for another Protocol firm, the broker can (a) take certain account information (client names, addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses, and account title information) to his/her new firm and (b) solicit the clients he/she serviced at his/her former firm. Naturally then, the Protocol’s requirements conflict with confidentiality and restrictive covenant provisions that are commonly found in broker employment agreements and firm policies.
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In Smith Barney, Inc. v. Darling, No. 09-C-540, 2009 WL 1544756 (E.D. Wis. Jun. 3, 2009), the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin denied Smith Barney’s request for temporary injunctive relief in aid of arbitration against five departing financial consultants and their new employer. Smith Barney sought an injunction to: (1)

On February 2, 2009, the Wall Street Journal published an “advisor alert” for “The World of Investment Planning.” The alert, titled “Staying Mum When Switching Firms” discusses the sensitive issues a broker faces when he/she leaves one financial investment firm for another. Although the alert correctly notes that “discussing an impending move with clients before