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by Mike Caswell
Former BMO Nesbitt Burns Inc. employee Gregory Sternig says that he and the firm's entire branch in Cranbrook, B.C., defected to Wellington-Altus Private Wealth Inc. amidst problems with BMO's product offerings and "corporate culture." Among other things, the firm did not provide employees the freedom to make objective choices in the products that they recommended and it focused on cutting costs, to the detriment of clients, Mr. Sternig says. BMO also had a product selection that was limited or non-existent for things such as Registered Education Savings Programs.
The statements come in response to a lawsuit that BMO filed in the Supreme Court of British Columbia on April 1, 2021, against Mr. Sternig and three other former employees of the Cranbrook branch. The lawsuit complained that the entire group resigned on March 12, 2021, with no notice, and immediately went to Wellington-Altus. Their departures were part of a planned move that was designed to keep BMO from serving its Cranbrook clients. BMO said that the group used its confidential information to solicit clients to change firms.
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