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Ruling Makes Firm-Hopping Harder

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A state court ruling in Georgia could make it a little harder for advisors and their clients to change firms.

The Georgia Court of Appeals ruling involves advisors who moved to Morgan Stanley from Aprio Wealth Management four years ago, reports Bloomberg. The gist is that if you agree to give your employer advance notice before leaving, and then fail to do it, the broker recruitment protocol doesn’t give you a pass.

“You can assume this decision’s going to be cited a lot, in Finra and in court,” industry lawyer Dennis Concilla tells the outlet.

The ruling covers Georgia, but “courts and industry panels could refer to it in ruling on similar cases.”

“We’re really pleased with the court-of-appeals ruling on this case,” Aprio CEO Richard Kopelman tells Bloomberg. “We think it’s a very meaningful decision for small and midsize firms, especially for registered investment advisers that can feel confident they’ll be protected from poaching like happened to us.”

Morgan Stanley declined to comment.

–Steve Garmhausen

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