Co-Worker Poaching Costs Ex-BlueBay Salesman Bonus Claim

A former salesman at Royal Bank of Canada (RY)’s BlueBay Asset Management lost a lawsuit seeking payment of a 1.7 million-pound ($2.7 million) bonus after a judge ruled he tried to recruit other BlueBay workers for a competitor.

Fahim Imam-Sadeque left London-based BlueBay in 2011 to join Goldbridge Capital Partners, a firm founded that year by another former BlueBay employee, Gina Germano. BlueBay canceled Imam-Sadeque’s 2012 stock award, saying it found evidence he encouraged other employees to come to Goldbridge during lunch meetings, phone calls and text messages.

“I have little doubt that Mr. Imam-Sadeque was aware his conduct in assisting in the set-up and launch of Goldbridge in the way he did was a serious breach of his obligations and would have warranted instant dismissal,” Judge Andrew Popplewell in London said in a written decision.

Royal Bank of Canada paid 963 million pounds for BlueBay in 2010 to expand its wealth-management business. Goldbridge opened in October 2011 with $100 million of funding to invest in distressed European debt.

Imam-Sadeque’s lawyer Peter De Maria didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment.

“BlueBay does not enjoy litigation,” the company said in an e-mailed statement. “The firm does, however, require its partners, employees and ex-employees to honor their obligations to the firm, to tell the truth and to meet certain standards of ethical behavior.”

Imam-Sadeque, who was paid a total of 2.5 million pounds including bonuses while at BlueBay in 2011, must make an interim payment of 375,000 pounds to cover the company’s legal costs, the judge said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kit Chellel in London at cchellel@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net

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