Vanguard Sues UHNW Advisor Over Alleged Client Solicitation

The Vanguard Team is suing just one of its previous ultrahigh-internet-truly worth monetary advisors for allegedly violating a a person-year nonsolicitation settlement he signed although an staff.

The financial services big accuses Matthew Snipes of breach of contract and misappropriation of trade secrets and techniques in its lawsuit submitted June 9 in a federal court in North Carolina.

Vanguard Group Inc


Courtesy of Vanguard

It is the most recent authorized fight between wealth management corporations and advisors around customer contacts. It is also the next time in the latest months that Vanguard has submitted a case in opposition to Snipes. The company’s first hard work, trying to find a short term restraining purchase, was denied by a point out choose.

The legal disputes concerning Vanguard and Snipes started soon after he had resigned from the organization April 22 to discovered an independent observe, Topsail Wealth Management, in Charlotte.

In addition to allegedly violating nonsolicitation agreements, Vanguard accuses Snipes of violating a contract he signed that demanded him to give 60 times discover right before resigning. 

There’s a great deal at stake in the disputes between the two sides. Snipes served as an advisor to ultrahigh-web-well worth clientele, most of whom had $15 million or far more invested with the corporation. In whole, he oversaw about $4.75 billion in belongings under administration for Vanguard consumers, whose enterprise produced close to $8 million in once-a-year revenues for the business, in accordance to the lawsuit. 

Just one of Snipes’ consumers has currently notified Vanguard that he is transferring belongings truly worth $26 million from Vanguard to Snipes’ new business, according to the lawsuit.

In Vanguard’s very first endeavor to seek out lawful redress, the firm submitted a lawsuit Could 31 in a North Carolina court docket, searching for a temporary restraining get from Snipes for allegedly soliciting purchasers to join him at Topsail. Snipes denied the allegation. A point out choose turned down Vanguard’s ask for, producing that it experienced “failed to display a probability of results,” in accordance to a June 6 order. 

On June 8, Vanguard voluntarily dismissed its point out courtroom circumstance in opposition to Snipes.

The company’s new lawsuit submitted in federal court docket seeks unspecified damages, attorneys’ expenses, and other relief. The lawsuit claims Vanguard is trying to find relief from a federal court docket due to the fact the events are from distinct states and the amount of damages sought is larger than $75,000. 

A Vanguard spokesperson could not be achieved for comment. Snipes’ legal professional, Matt DeAntonio, declined to remark on the scenario.

While Vanguard is regarded for its fund management functions, the firm also gives prosperity administration providers to wealthy people.

Snipes started his economical services job at Vanguard as a consumer connection associate in 2006, eventually turning out to be a ultrahigh-net-worthy of senior economic advisor in 2015, according to the lawsuit. 

As a Vanguard advisor, Snipes did not actively prospect for shoppers, in accordance to the lawsuit. As an alternative, Vanguard introduced him to current shoppers and future clients. “In other phrases, the own and financial info of the Vanguard clientele who Snipes serviced was not independently known to Snipes but was furnished to Snipes by Vanguard and by virtue of Snipes’s position,” the suit states.

Write to Andrew Welsch at [email protected]