Judge halts ex-US Trust team from using client info

* Judge says Brown, team must return records to US Trust

* Team may advise clients who come to Dynasty Financial

NEW YORK, Dec 10 (BestGrowthStock) – Todd Thomson’s drive to start
a new wealth management firm hit a bump after a New York state
judge temporarily blocked a team of former U.S. Trust advisers
from using client records they brought to his new firm, Dynasty
Financial Partners.

Michael Brown, a U.S. Trust adviser with $5.9 billion in
assets, and three others joined Dynasty this week to help
Thomson build a firm that will provide technology and other
support to high-end investment advisers.

U.S. Trust parent Bank of America (BAC.N: ) said in a
complaint filed on Thursday that the employees essentially
stole trade secrets when they took client records with them
from the bank.

Judge Melvin Schweitzer of New York state court in
Manhattan said in an order late on Thursday that the employees
temporarily may not use or disclose customer lists, other
property or trade secrets taken from U.S. Trust.

Brown and his team can, however, continue to advise clients
who want to work with them.

The order also directs the employees to return customer
lists and other property pending a hearing now scheduled for
Jan. 14. A Bank of America spokesman provided a copy of the
order to Reuters.

Bank of America in its complaint said neither U.S. Trust
nor the bank signed a voluntary industry agreement known as
“the protocol,” which provides a framework for recruiting. The
pact has helped reduce lawsuits over broker departures.

Merrill Lynch, also part of Bank of America, is a party to
the protocol.

Brown and his team in their resignation letter contended
the protocol allowed them to take client information, according
to Bank of America’s complaint. [ID:nN09254410]

Dynasty was founded by Thomson and Shirl Penney, two former
Citigroup (C.N: ) wealth management executives. Thomson, also a
former chief financial officer at Citi, left the bank in 2007
after he was accused by then Chief Executive Officer Charles
“Chuck” Prince of improper use of company aircraft.

Officials at Dynasty could not be reached immediately for
comment.
(Reporting by Joseph A. Giannone; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)

Judge halts ex-US Trust team from using client info