Pedro Lopez-Villari, who joined JPMorgan in 2014 and managed $81 million for around 100 clients, had signed an agreement barring him from soliciting JPMorgan clients for a year after leaving the firm, the company claims, according to FA-IQ sister publication FundFire.
JPMorgan also claims it assigned or referred most of his clients, the publication writes.
But nine JPMorgan clients reported that Lopez-Villari called them promising lower fees if they moved their accounts to UBS, which he joined on Aug. 30, according to JPMorgan’s complaint cited by FundFire. Moreover, he allegedly “bad-mouthed and disparaged” JPMorgan, the company says, according to the publication.
JPMorgan is seeking a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction pending a Finra arbitration, FundFire writes.
Lopez-Villari, JPMorgan and UBS all declined comment to the publication.
JPMorgan has gone after other departing advisors in the past, despite being a signatory to the Protocol for Broker Recruiting, the industry accord that allows departing advisors to take some client information with them without the threat of lawsuits.
JPMorgan’s rival Morgan Stanley — which did leave the accord in 2017, along with UBS and several other firms — has been particularly aggressive pursuing brokers who've jumped ship. Since withdrawing from the protocol, Morgan Stanley has sought TROs against more than a dozen departing brokers.