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Co-Worker Poaching Costs Ex-BlueBay Salesman Bonus Claim

A former salesman at Royal Bank of Canada’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.

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