BNY Mellon Accused of Unfair Competition by Lyell Wealth

  • Suit comes weeks after bank accused firm of poaching clients
  • Lyell claims bank misrepresents quality of its services

Lyell Wealth Management LLC fired back at Bank of New York Mellon Corp., accusing it of unfairly competing for the dollars of “high net worth clients” after the bank alleged that the investment firm’s owners poached customers and employees.

The bank and its affiliates have "systematically misrepresented the scope, quality and nature of their financial services and products,” Lyell said in a lawsuit filed Thursday in federal court in Oakland, California.

The lawsuit comes three weeks after BNY Mellon sued Lyell for allegedly violating a non-compete agreement following the bank’s purchase of the firm where Lyell’s co-founders were previously employed, Atherton Lane Advisers LLC, in January. BNY Mellon claimed Atherton’s former owners violated the agreement by setting up the new company, Lyell, and luring away clients and employees.

Menlo Park, California-based Lyell is asking for a court order barring BNY Mellon from engaging in unfair business practices and an award of unspecified damages.

BNY Mellon representatives didn’t immediately respond after regular business hours to a phone call seeking comment on the complaint.

The case is Lyell Wealth Management LLC v. The Bank of New York Mellon Corp., 4:16-cv-05425, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (Oakland).

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