A breakaway broker who beat back a costly legal challenge from Edward Jones is hoping other advisors will follow his lead.
John Lindsey, who left Edward Jones in 2012 and won a FINRA arbitration case against his former firm last summer, has launched The Bold Advisor website to provide support, guidance and information to other advisors considering leaving large wirehouses to go independent.
Edward Jones "wanted to make an example out of me and it completely backfired," Lindsey says. "The lesson I learned, and that I want to pass on, is that if you do no wrong, don't be bullied. Stand tall and move forward with your conviction."
Lindsey, a 16-year Edward Jones veteran, left the firm to go independent, launching Lindsey & Lindsey Wealth Management in Westlake Village, Calif., with his daughter in March 2012; he affiliated with Securities America through Cooper McManus, a Southern California office of supervisory jurisdiction. Edward Jones promptly filed a request for an injunction and temporary restraining order, claiming Lindsey violated his one-year non-solicitation agreement.
A Ventura County superior court granted the injunction, but the judge also noted that nothing in the agreement prohibited Lindsey from working with Edward Jones clients who reached out to him directly.
Edward Jones then asked FINRA to make the injunction permanent and requested $5 million in compensatory damages. A FINRA arbitration panel denied both requests last July, clearing the way for advisors to work with clients who want to follow them from their old firm.
After what Lindsey described as a "gruesome" legal battle that cost him in the "low six figures," the advisor says he is on a "mission to embolden as many wirehouse advisors as I can so that they know that they can fight back and win."
Lindsey isn't charging potential breakaways for advice, but Cooper McManus is using Lindsey's story and the new website as a recruiting tool, specifically targeting Edward Jones advisors.
"Cooper McManus is actively recruiting advisors and branches within its affiliated advisor network," says Arthur Cooper, a managing director at the OSJ, via email. "A resource like John can not only relate to the independent world transitioning advisors are entering, but he also knows the world they are transitioning from. This can help them navigate a lot of the pitfalls advisors tend to make when they are transitioning."
Edward Jones declined to comment.
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