Ex-Woodbury execs filched data, lawsuit claims

Sep 16, 2012 @ 12:01 am

By Bruce Kelly

Three former senior executives of Woodbury Financial Services Inc. lifted confidential information about the firm's brokers and took it to another broker-dealer, according to a federal lawsuit filed by The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc., Woodbury's parent.

In a lawsuit filed Aug. 29 in U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota, The Hartford claims that three former Woodbury Financial regional vice presidents, who oversaw a total of 188 registered representatives, took the confidential information “in their final days as employees (and often on their absolute final day as employees).”

According to the lawsuit, the three executives left Woodbury Financial in late July.

The Hartford is seeking a temporary restraining order against the three executives, Scott Carlson, Kevin Corrigan and Robert Cairns, and is preparing a parallel claim for arbitration with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc., according to the lawsuit.

The actions of the three executives “represented a concerted attempt to take and use The Hartford's confidential information for competitive purposes,” according to the lawsuit.

SERIES OF E-MAILS

For example, Mr. Carlson allegedly sent a series of e-mails to his home that had information about Woodbury reps, including their gross commission, details of top producers, according to the lawsuit.

The three men now work for another independent broker-dealer, Questar Capital Corp., which is owned by Allianz Life Insurance Co. of North America Inc. Questar and Allianz weren't named as defendants in the lawsuit.

Allianz spokeswoman, Sara Thurin Rollin, wrote in an e-mail: “With their combined sales and business development expertise, these new divisional vice presidents will augment Questar's sales team. Because of the ongoing litigation, we are not in a position to make additional comments.”

Robert DeMallie, a spokes-man for The Hartford, declined to comment.

In July, American International Group Inc. agreed to buy Woodbury Financial, which would operate under AIG's Advisor Group network of broker-dealers.

bkelly@investmentnews.com Twitter: @bdnewsguy

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