Ohio Brokerage Awarded $500,000 by Stock Exchange Panel
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) _ An Ohio-based brokerage house has been awarded $500,000 by a New York Stock Exchange arbitration panel as a result of its claim that Advest Inc. raided some of its key employees.
Donald C. Fanta, president of the Ohio Co., said he believes the award is one of the largest ever by the exchange.
″We felt that (the ruling) really reaffirms our feeling that the actions taken by Advest were not in compliance with New York Stock Exchange rules and regulations,″ Fanta said Monday.
The Columbus-based brokerage charged in a $2.5-million-plus claim that seven employees at its Cincinnati, Canton and Blue Ash offices were hired away illegally by Advest, which is headquartered in Hartford, Conn.
Advest insists it did nothing wrong.
″We obviously disagree with the decision,″ the company said in a statement. ″All the testimony ... from the brokers was that they initiated their contact with Advest.″
The NYSE arbitration panel’s decision cannot be appealed, but the decision can be taken to court if one of the parties believes there was fraud in making the award.
In its claim, the Ohio Co. said Grant Kurtz, a 20-year veteran employee, joined Advest in August 1985. Advest ″concluded it was going to achieve a presence in Cincinnati and Canton not by the normal course but, rather, by utilizing the knowledge Grant W. Kurtz had about the Ohio Company and raiding the Ohio Company of key managers and major producers.″
Alan L. Briggs, an attorney for the firm that represented The Ohio Company, said evidence indicated the managers remained with the Ohio Co. for several months after deciding to join Advest.
The case originally was filed in Franklin County Common Pleas Court but was shifted to the NYSE arbitration panel at Advest’s request. Hearings were held at the NYSE from May through mid-July.