Ex-Edward Jones advisors can’t solicit firm’s clients: Judge
A federal judge granted Edward Jones’ request for a temporary restraining order against two of its former brokers, ordering the duo not to solicit or attempt to solicit any of the firm’s clients.
The dispute arose after advisors Debra Feaser and Michael Eisenbraun moved to Ameriprise’s employee channel from Edward Jones on Nov. 2.
Edward Jones claimed in a lawsuit filed earlier this week in the U.S. District Court for Eastern District of New York that the advisors had violated non-solicitation agreements and taken Edward Jones confidential information that included client names and contact information. The Staten Island-based advisors denied the allegations, asserting that they took no documents and solicited no clients.
Judge Pamela Chen granted the firm’s request while the two sides hash out the dispute in FINRA arbitration.
Judge Chen also ordered the advisors not to solicit any Edward Jones employees to terminate their employment with the firm.
But while Edward Jones got its non-solicit request, the judge’s order permits the advisors to speak with clients who have already transferred assets and to accept new transfers of assets from Edward Jones clients.
The two advisors oversaw more than $150 million in assets, Edward Jones said in its lawsuit. (An Ameriprise spokeswoman said they oversaw $215 million). Edward Jones says client assets of approximately $19 million have already transferred over to rival Ameriprise.
A spokeswoman for Ameriprise said the firm and the advisors had no comment on the matter. An Edward Jones spokesman also declined to comment.
Neither the brokers nor their attorney could be reached for comment.
Feaser is an advisor of 24 years and she had been with Edward Jones since 2003, according to FINRA BrokerCheck records. Eisenbraun began his career at the firm two years ago.
Edward Jones is not a member of the Broker Protocol, an industry pact that permits advisors switching firms to take basic client contact information with them. The firm has more than 14,000 brokers in the U.S.