New indy just moved from Jones at the beginning of the month. All was quiet until today when I got slapped with an 88 page summons, injunction request, and a cease and desist order. I've passed the 3 year mark on training some time ago so that is not a problem. For the most part I've only really transferred close friends and family members over + 5 clients that called me and requested I move them. I did send out a letter letting people know where I went but did not ask them to contact me within the letter, nor have I made outbound calls to them other than to return a few misc calls.
Any suggestions from those of you who may have experienced a similar situation?
I would pass it on to your B/D's legal department. Jones sent me a cease and desist letter (but not an 88 page summons), and LPL legal told me what to do, and what not to do.
Don't send anything else to your old clients (Jones could use that as proof of solicitation) until the 1-yr non-solicit is over. If you can afford it, you may want to take out a newspaper ad (and press release) announcing your new gig. Nothing Jones can do about that.
If it gets too hairy, you may want to get your own counsel.
Oh yeah, nice name.
I actually already have a lawyer I hired the day after I left Jones. She is reviewing everything. I would have expected a cease and desist letter prior to the lawsuit. I think I sort of expected this, but it is very shocking to actually see it.
It’s SOP. The next one will be from current IR whining to his RL asking for a copy of whatever you are sending them. Don’t send anything written or leave a message on an answering machine. If you can make yourself public using newspaper ads, as stated above or a billboard across the street.
I'm not complaining or griping, Jones can do what they want. I just want to draw on the experience of those that have already gone through it. As far as I am concerned, Jones is Jones and fine for what they are. They just didn't match up with where I want to go with my life and career. I certainly have reasons that include lack of confidence and belief in their philosophy, but this isn't a forum I would choose to further delve into that.
I really just want to hear how the process works and what all I can expect.
Don't worry! Just do the things you are doing. Tell all your clients verbally that they have three options:
1. They can stay at Edward Jones
2. They can go to a different Financial Advisor at a different firm
3. Or they can come with you to your new firm.
I would also explain to them that EDJ thinks that they own the relationship and that they may say things that are inferred or implied that I'm not a nice guy or something to that effect.
I've been indy for 1+ year now and the IR at the office that I was at, still says lies about me. She is ridiculous.
As for the attorney stuff, just follow the advice of your counsel. I actually had to hire my own attorney to send Jones a cease and desist letter because of the things they were telling my clients. That stopped the letters coming from Mr. Goldberg. By the way, Mr. Goldberg is a joke!
Good News: You made a great decision! I took 92% of my book in 1 year. I am making more and saving more than I ever thought I would.
[quote=Bamzor]It's SOP. The next one will be from current IR whining to his RL asking for a copy of whatever you are sending them. Don't send anything written or leave a message on an answering machine. If you can make yourself public using newspaper ads, as stated above or a billboard across the street. [/quote]
No, it's not SOP. They had to have a reason to send the cease and desist order. I left two plus years ago with no problems. A few friends left a few weeks later and encountered the same issues that you have. They were basically accused of copying files by their BOAs. What was the reason for the cease and desist?
The reason stated was that I was soliciting edward jones clients. Other than that it seems pretty generic.
Gone indy, I had that letter the 2nd day in my office (6 months ago). There was no time to complain. Anther broker left after me and he got one that Tuesday following the Friday he left. It may not be SOP 2 years ago, but may be now.
[quote=Bamzor]Gone indy, I had that letter the 2nd day in my office (6 months ago). There was no time to complain. Anther broker left after me and he got one that Tuesday following the Friday he left. It may not be SOP 2 years ago, but may be now.[/quote]
Perhaps, but I would be very surprised if they send a cease and desist order to every IR (sorry, I just can't call them FAs) that leaves. How could they get away with that? Unless they have proof of solicitation how could they get a cease and desist order?
I will have to look at it my office in the morning, it was not 88 pages. It seemed very generic and they reminded me of my contract obligations.
I got the same letter…"Remember you signed a non solicit contract…blah blah blah. Don’t leave messages…don’t send correspondence…I’ve been VERY fortunate on the transfers…people are calling and setting appts, stopping in…I just looked at the letter and it was a copy of the contract and nice one page letter from the FIRM.
I received that letter also. It certainly was not a cease and desist order. Just a reminder of my non compete contract. It went right in the trash!
Out of the people that I know who left, anyone who re-registered with another firm received that letter. One person did not register with another firm and did not hear anything.
Out of the five people I know of who defected from the Green Slime Machine, one received the 88 page summons. That person was the first to leave for another firm in the area in three or four years. The best part was her book was less than 5 mill, I left 1.5 years later with 20 million and I didn't hear anything, they didn't even put a TR in the office. They use it as a scare tactic so when one of their drones calls to see how your transition went, you have a nasty story to tell them that will persuade them not to leave.
It would be interested to know how well connected you were in the region. I think this is part of the game as well. They came after me, I think just to make a point that they will go after anyone that leaves. I had lots of friends in the region, and they knew it.
I am pretty sure they need something to hold against you though if this is the pile of documents to file a TRO and arbitration hearing unless you respond within 24 hours kind of letter.