- a sum equal to fifty (50) days of unpaid salary continuation estimated at $34,246.57;
- salary adjustment due to be paid in the fourth quarter of 2009 in the sum of $25,000.00;
- a deferred cash award In the sum of $54,112.15;
- contributions relevant to the annual structured bonus accrued during 2009 in the sum of approximately $258,000.00;
- 2,067 shares of Citi stock;
- 10,005.15 shares of Citi stock awarded under the CAP Program;
- 4,134 shares of Citi stock awarded under the Supplemental CAP Program;
- the maximum amount payable as a match relating to Claimant’s contribution to the Citi 401 (k) plan during calendar year 2009 (estimated at $12,000.00);
- reimbursement of all expenses incurred by Claimant while employed by Respondent estimated to be approximately $2,000.00;
- pre- and post-judgment statutory interest; attorneys’ fees; costs relating to these proceedings; punitive damages;
- denial of the Counterclaim, as amended, with prejudice; and,
- such other and further relief as the FINRA Arbitrators deemed just and proper.
NOTE: At the close of the hearing, Claimant requested compensatory damages of $462,558.95.
In the Matter of the FINRA Arbitration Between Steven Smith, Claimant, vs. Citigroup Global Markets, Inc., Respondent (FINRA Arbitration 10-01893, June 16, 2011).
Respondent Citigroup generally denied the allegations, asserted various affirmative defenses, and filed a Counterclaim alleging various breaches and misappropriation/use of confidential information. Respondent requested dismissal of the Statement of Claim in its entirety, unspecified compensatory damages, punitive damages, attorneys’ fees, costs, and such other and further relief as is just and proper. At the close of the hearing, Respondent Citigroup requested compensatory damages of $214,661.00.
The Panel found Respondent Citigroup liable and ordered it to pay to Claimant Smith:
- $407,540.95 in compensatory damages plus simple interest accruing at the rate of 9% (New York statutory rate) per year from January 1, 2010 until the date of payment of the Award; and
- $300.00 representing reimbursement of the non-refundable portion of the claim filing fee previously paid by
Claimant to FINRA Dispute Resolution.
Respondent Citigroup’s Counterclaim was dismissed with prejudice.
Bill Singer’s Comment: Frankly, this is a fairly straightforward case that doesn’t need to be beaten to death by over-analysis. I present this arbitration to demonstrate a simple proposition: Industry employees don’t always have to sit back and wait to be sued by their former employers; and, in some cases, industry employees can beat even the biggest of securities firms.