In an unusual decision, a Finra arbitration panel has ordered Ameriprise Financial and William Barker, a former broker, to pay each other compensatory damages.
The case stems from Mr. Barker's alleged failure to repay a promissory note due Ameriprise when he was terminated in February 2016.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc.'s panel found Mr. Barker liable on the claim that he breached his promissory note and ordered him to pay Ameriprise compensatory damages of $242,030.35, plus interest of $10,817.51.
The panel also found Ameriprise liable on Mr. Barker's claims of defamation, intentional interference with a business relationship and unjust enrichment. It ordered the firm to pay Mr. Barker compensatory damages of $550,000.00, putting Mr. Barker ahead by about $297,000, although Finra also ordered Mr. Barker to pay Ameriprise's attorneys' fees, which will be determined by a court.
Mr. Barker, who began his career in 1997 at A.G. Edwards, is no longer employed in the securities business.