Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, a joint venture between Morgan Stanley , accuses Kevin Whitehead of breach of contract and breach of loyalty and fiduciary duty in the claim, filed on Wednesday in the U.S. District Court in New York.
Whitehead spent almost 14 years at Morgan Stanley, most recently serving as the St Louis complex manager overseeing six branch offices and over 100 advisors, according to the firm.
He jumped to Wells Fargo Advisors, a division of Wells Fargo & Co , to take up the position of St Louis market manager, overseeing 13 branches .
Morgan Stanley Smith Barney accuses Whitehead of violating his 60-day notice period by immediately starting work at Wells Fargo. The firm is now trying to enforce the garden leave period and prevent Whitehead from using confidential information to solicit employees and clients.
Under his contract, Morgan Stanley claims that Whitehead is not allowed to hire or recruit any Morgan Stanley Smith Barney employees for six months after he leaves the firm and cannot solicit any of the firm's clients for three months after he leaves the firm.
Employees accept certain legal responsibilities when they take officer positions and we will hold them to those responsibilities, said a Morgan Stanley spokeswoman.
Wells Fargo did not immediately return calls for comment.
(Reporting by Helen Kearney; Editing by Gary Hill)