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Credit Suisse Fights to Vacate Deferred Comp Award for UBS Rep

January 15, 2019

Credit Suisse is fighting to reverse a deferred compensation award a Finra arbitration panel made to one of the company’s former brokers who left when the Swiss bank’s U.S. broker-dealer exited the U.S. wealth management business, according to news reports.

The company has filed a petition to vacate the $975,530 award made to Nicholas Finn in November, AdvisorHub writes.

In a previously unreported filing from the same month, Credit Suisse Securities says the arbitrators in Finn’s case showed a “manifest disregard of the law” when they refused to reschedule a hearing for the company’s former head of its U.S. brokerage business to accommodate him and when they prohibited evidence of Finn’s negotiations with other firms, according to the industry news website.

Finn, who had been in the financial services industry since 1993, had joined Credit Suisse in 2008 and left in 2015 for UBS Financial Services.

That year, Credit Suisse closed its U.S. private banking business and made an exclusive agreement with Wells Fargo Advisors, which included referral fees for any brokers who joined Wells Fargo.

Finn is one of “dozens” of former Credit Suisse brokers who claim they were owed unvested deferred pay because they had been terminated without cause when the Swiss company decided to close its U.S. business, according to AdvisorHub.

So far, only two claims have gone through arbitration. In both cases the panels granted deferred pay to the former brokers, the website writes.

Credit Suisse, however, continues arguing that the brokers who left for other firms likely received forgivable loans or other bonuses from their new employers, according to AdvisorHub.

“Put simply, we continue to believe that no one is entitled to recover the same dollar twice, and we will continue to defend our bank against meritless attempts to do so, as we have in many other proceedings where former brokers have abandoned such claims,” said a Credit Suisse spokeswoman, according to the industry news website.

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Credit Suisse, however, hasn’t challenged the other award related to the closing of its U.S. wealth management operations, AdvisorHub writes.

In October, a Finra panel awarded $863,000 to Brian Chilton, who currently works at Morgan Stanley, according to the website.

By Alex Padalka
  • To read the AdvisorHub article cited in this story, click here.