Allstate Insurance Co. is suing Ameriprise Financial in a spat alleging Ameriprise is stealing Allstate's confidential information by recruiting the giant insurance company's salespeople, known as "exclusive financial specialists."
Ameriprise is allegedly encouraging the Allstate sales agents to create contact lists from customer information, use flash drives and portable electronic devices to download client data, and then solicit Allstate clients once they quit and move to Ameriprise, according to the complaint.
Allstate leveled those allegations at Ameriprise in a lawsuit filed August 10 in U.S. district court, northern district of Illinois. The complaint alleges violation of the Defend Trade Secrets Act, tortious interference with business relationships and unfair competition.
"Ameriprise has engaged, or is engaging, in a national effort to steal [Allstate] confidential information," according to the complaint.
"Indeed, Ameriprise's actions have been so blatant and outrageous that Ameriprise has encouraged" Allstate salespeople "to lie" to Allstate "about their theft" of the confidential information, the complaint alleges.
As of August 10, Ameriprise was soliciting Allstate salespeople in Arizona, Kansas, Louisiana, Nevada and New Jersey, the lawsuit alleges, and has also solicited them in Illinois, New York and Pennsylvania.
"Allstate will always take action when its contractual obligations are being violated or its confidential information is threatened," wrote spokesman Ben Corey in an email. "We stand by the allegations stated in our complaint and look forward to a favorable court resolution of this issue."
A spokeswoman for Ameriprise, Kathleen McClung, wrote in an email: "We believe the suit is without merit and will defend ourselves vigorously."