Bear Stearns Sues Former Brokers

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The Bear Stearns deal is getting messier. Wall Street rivals are poaching the best talent, forcing JP Morgan to promise lots of compensation money to keep them in place or face acquiring Bear with only the losers left. Unfortunately for the best laid plans of the Fed and JP Morgan, the uncertainty over the deal is leading many Bear employees to figure they'd be better off taking offers from competitors.
So now Bear is fighting back, asking a New York State court to issue restraining orders against departed brokers who Bear claims are soliciting the firm's clients to do move their business to the new company, Kate Kelly and Robin Sidel of the Wall Street Journal are reporting. These solicitation lawsuits are nothing new on Wall Street but they come at a very awkward time for Bear and JP Morgan. Morale is already low. The lawsuit puts a spotlight on the fact that many of the best employees and customers may have already left the firm, and doesn't exactly reassure worried employees that Bear is friendly toward its cubs.
One Bear recently departed Bear employee we spoke with this morning wondered how hard any former Bear employee would have to try to solicit clients away from the company.
"If you've read the papers, you know no-one wants to do business with Bear. They don't hate their own contacts, though. So if you hear your broker, or the desk you dealt with, has moved over to, say, Morgan Stanley, why wouldn't you move? Keep your business in a failing firm with people you don't know or join the pack and stick with who you know. Not a hard choice," he said.

Bear Seeks Restraints On Departed Brokers
[Wall Street Journal]

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