Can I Take My Client Information When I Leave My Firm?

When changing firms, and moving between two firms that are part of the Broker Recruiting Protocol, can the broker take client account numbers with her.

We get that question a lot. Under the Protocol a broker may take only the client name, address, phone number, email address, and account title of the clients that she serviced while at the firm (“the Client Information”) and is prohibited from taking any other documents or information. The broker cannot take client account numbers.

Further, resignations must be in writing delivered to local branch management and shall include a copy of the Client information that the RR is taking with her. The RR list delivered to the branch also shall include the client account numbers for the clients serviced by the RR, but the broker cannot take those account numbers.

Whether you are at a protocol or non-protocol firm, transitioning to a new firm without taking the proper steps can result in a lawsuit by your old firm, motions for injunctions and other “emergency” relief, will be a major distraction as you try to get up and running at your new firm, and can cost you tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees.

If you are changing firm, do not do it alone. You have issues about what you can take with you, what you can use at the new firm, who you can talk to about your move, when you can talk to them, your new compensation agreements, your old compensation agreements, and a dozen other issues. Mark Astarita has represented brokers moving to and from every major brokerage firm, and dozens of other firms. If you have a question, call him at 212-509-6544.

The Securities Lawyer