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Investment Advisors Face ‘No-Poach’ Antitrust Lawsuit

 |  February 27, 2024

A proposed class action lawsuit has been filed against major players in the asset and wealth management sector, including Mariner Wealth and American Century Investments. The lawsuit, brought forth by two former employees of TortoiseEcofin Investments, alleges violations of antitrust laws through a conspiracy aimed at restricting employee recruitment and hiring practices, reported Reuters.

Filed in the Kansas federal court on Friday, the lawsuit asserts that the accused companies engaged in “no-poach” agreements, effectively agreeing not to hire from each other. This practice, according to the plaintiffs, resulted in the suppression of wages within the industry.

Apart from Mariner Wealth, American Century Investments, and TortoiseEcofin Investments, the lawsuit also names Montage Investments and 1248 Holdings LLC (formerly Bicknell Family Holding Company) as defendants.

The plaintiffs’ legal representation emphasized the significance of the lawsuit in ensuring fair and competitive labor markets. “This antitrust action concerns the rights of employees to free and fair markets,” the lawsuit stated.

Responding to the allegations, American Century Investments issued a statement reaffirming its commitment to fair competition and compliance with all laws and regulations. The company stated that it would address the lawsuit through legal proceedings.

However, attorneys representing the plaintiffs were not immediately available for comment following the lawsuit’s filing.

This lawsuit adds to a growing trend of legal actions targeting various industries for allegedly engaging in anti-competitive practices to suppress wages. Industries such as aerospace engineering, shipbuilding, and high fashion have faced similar civil lawsuits in recent years, alleging collusion among companies to limit employee mobility and artificially deflate wages.

The outcome of this lawsuit could potentially have significant implications not only for the asset and wealth management sector but also for broader discussions around fair labor practices and competitive markets.

Source: Reuters