According to reports, a securities arbitration panel recently ruled that Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp. must pay $2 million to Jeffrey Concepcion, a broker who alleged that his company fired him and then damaged his professional reputation.
Apparently, Concepcion had alleged he was fired after having arranged a business venture on behalf of the company, but before he sealed the deal.
Lincoln Financial Advisors is a unit of Lincoln National Corp. Concepcion managed the company’s offices in Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio, and was also a financial advisor when he was terminated.
The Finra panel ruled in favor of Concepcion and ordered Lincoln Financial Advisors to pay him an estimated $2.04 million in compensatory damages and a $375 reimbursement of the non- refundable portion of the arbitration panel filing fee.
Concepcion said that prior to his termination he had arranged a meeting with a potential managing partner of a number of Wachovia offices in Ohio specializing in variable life insurance sales. As the deal was being completed, Concepcion said Lincoln Financial executives objected to the deal. He said that company officials subsequently fired him, claiming he didn’t provide enough time for them to consider the deal, and implying that he had overstepped his authority.
Concepcion said Lincoln Financial officials told him they wouldn’t give him a severance package unless he agreed to a non-competition agreement, which he refused. As a consequence, Concepcion claimed that Lincoln Financial circulated false and misleading information regarding his termination, telling his customers he had made a “career change” and asserting that he had been terminated from the company “with cause.”
The panel’s ruling appears to uphold a financial advisor’s right to proper reporting of the reason for his/her departure from a firm, as well as a broker’s right to refuse a non-competition agreement.
The securities attorneys of The White Law Group represent financial advisors in various types of securities employment disputes. If you are a financial advisor with an employment related question, please feel free to contact The White Law Group at 312/238-9650 for a free consultation.
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