On Friday, AGF Management and AGF Investments launched a lawsuit against a Dallas-based investment company and its recruitment firm.
It alleges Westwood Holdings Group—along with select individuals, including ex-fund manager Patricia Perez-Coutts—orchestrated an attempted unlawful lift-out of an entire team of experienced investment managers.
Perez-Coutts left her position at AGF this spring. She and some team members joined Westwood, which said it was expanding its range of investment strategies.
The statements have not been proven, but the claim says the plan was to inflict damage to AGF, while at the same time inappropriately rewarding its ex-employees for playing along.
“In our view, this action is about a breach of legal obligations involving ethically wrong behaviour by this U.S. investment company,” says AGF chairman and CEO Blake C. Goldring. “We have a duty to act, and to protect Canadian investors from this type of interference.”
“This behaviour harms the entire industry and has serious implications on how investors view the financial services sector,” says Winthrop H. Smith Jr., lead director of AGF Management.