Tullett Prebon wins $33 mln in damages over BGC poaching

Reuters - UK Focus

* Tullett says FINRA finds in favour of its U.S. units

* BGC to pay $33.3 mln in damages

* Tullett to pay $6.1 mln over 2007 acquisition

July 10 (Reuters) - British interdealer broker TullettPrebon has won $33.3 million in damages from rival BGCPartners (Other OTC: PGPHF - news) over the alleged poaching of staff from itsUnited States-based subsidiaries in 2009.

Arbitrators for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority(FINRA), Wall Street's industry-funded regulator, found BGCliable for $13 million and a number of its brokers liable for afurther $20 million, BGC said in a statement on Thursday.

BGC said it plans to cover the damages incurred by its staffand had already made provisions for the cost.

"The FINRA award will not have a material financial effecton BGC," the company said.

In its own statement, Tullett Prebon (LSE: TLPR.L - news) said FINRA had orderedit to pay $6.1 million in compensation to the former owners ofChapdelaine Corporate Securities & Co, which it acquired in2007. The sum relates to outstanding payments associated withthe transaction.

Interdealer brokers match buyers and sellers of currencies,bonds and swaps in a fiercely competitive market. Severallong-running feuds have in the past erupted between the majorplayers in the industry, over issues such as poaching and patentinfringement.

Tullett and BGC are due to meet in a U.S. court in theautumn over a separate legal action in which Tullett Prebon Plc,rather than its U.S. subsidiaries, is seeking damages from BGCfor erosion of shareholder value. Tullett has not given a figurefor the amount of damages it is claiming.

The two have already clashed in a London court overpoaching, with Tullett Prebon winning an undisclosed damagesfrom New York-based BGC. Anthony Verrier, a money market brokerwho moved from Tullett to BGC, was banned by Britain's financialwatchdog for his role in the raid. (Editing by David Holmes)

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