Registered investment adviser Hanson McClain is suing Ameriprise Financial Services Inc. (AMP) and Thomas Chandler for purportedly taking confidential client data and soliciting its customers. The investment adviser says that not only is this a contract breach but also it violates California law. Chandler was formerly an investment adviser for Hanson McClain, which has about $1.6 billion in assets under management.
Hanson McClain submitted its complaint in September, just days after Chandler departed. In November, the court allowed a preliminary injunction barring Ameriprise and Chandler from getting in touch with the clients under dispute and ordering them to give back certain documents until the case is resolved. In December, the RIA submitted an amended complaint requesting a permanent injunction barring Chandler from soliciting clients. Hanson McClain wants compensatory damages as well as the return of its clients’ information.
The firm says that Chandler took the data from its servers, moving the information to a personal email account. The data allegedly includes account numbers, names, net worth, and other pertinent information for clients whose total net worth is around $540,000. Hanson McClain also claims that Chandler asked for the emails of its “platinum” clients and then connected with them via LinkedIn. The RIA contends that Ameriprise and one of its branch managers worked with Chandler to take the information.
As for Chandler he has said that he is allowed to let his clients know if he has moved. He maintains that he did not solicit business from these clients or request that they move their accounts to follow him.
Hanson McClain sues former adviser and Ameriprise, InvestmentNews, January 12, 2015
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