Towry chief executive Andrew Fisher was yesterday accused of being aggressive, threatening and offensive when addressing Edward Jones advisers following Towry’s acquisition of the firm in October 2009.
The accusations came at the High Court in the witness statements of defendants in the £5.8m damages claim brought by Towry against Raymond James and seven former Edward Jones advisers over alleged client solicitation.
Barry Bennet alleges Fisher (pictured) displayed an “aggressive, patronising, threatening and rather offensive attitude” when talking to advisers, which was met with a “hostile reaction” from many.
But Fisher rejected the claims and stated that the position he and Towry were in when trying to explain the situation was difficult.
He said: “If you go through acquisitions like we did it is difficult. We were running around the country trying to meet hundreds of people, offering them jobs they did not have. What Towry was trying to be was nurturing and comforting to a workforce obviously in shock.”
The witness statement of Bennett also alleges that in a presentation to Edward Jones advisers in Bath on October 26, 2009, Fisher spoke in a way that “did not endear him” when they felt “let down and deceived” by their previous owners.
When asked by counsel for the defence Chris Quinn QC if he had made a good first impression with the defendants, Fisher said it “would be difficult for anyone to make a good impression on anyone in their situation.”
Quinn QC had earlier suggested Fisher had been “dismissive” of the skills of Edward Jones advisers which he denied.
It had also been alleged by the defence that advisers were unwilling to move to Towry employment because they would not provide a stockbroking service previously offered by Edward Jones.
But Fisher denied advisers were performing such a service at Edward Jones and said they did not have the permissions and were merely selecting stocks from a list imposed by Edward Jones management.
The case continues today as the defence cross examines Towry head of risk and compliance Nick Anderson.