Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

In early March, UBS AG hired 15 BMO employees in Texas who specialized in energy acquisitions and divestitures, in order to beef up its investment banking capabilities in Houston.

Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

Bank of Montreal wants a Texas court to intervene after a rival firm poached a team of its energy bankers.

In early March, UBS AG hired 15 BMO employees in Texas who specialized in energy acquisitions and divestitures, in order to beef up its investment banking capabilities in Houston. The news didn't ruffle feathers early on despite the sizable number of departures, mainly because some of the employees were only junior staffers. But BMO now worries confidential information was taken.

To protect itself, the Canadian bank is targeting four of the ex-employees in court, alleging they breached their fiduciary duties by "improperly taking BMO's confidential and proprietary information and by impermissibly soliciting BMO clients and employees."

Story continues below advertisement

The allegations are unproven and a judge has yet to approve BMO's requests, which include searching the four former employees' computers to trace what, if any, information was taken from its servers. Still, the ugly fight serves as a cautionary tale for capital markets employees who change firms.

BMO has asked a Texas court to approve digital imaging of the four former employees' personal devices, worried they sent documents from the firm's servers to their personal e-mail accounts. The traced e-mails in question are alleged to contain client pitch documents and information about prior deals.

BMO alleged in court filings that it has found evidence that Miles Redfield, the most senior banker in the group, accessed most of BMO's "transactional information and infrastructure" in the days and weeks leading up to his resignation in early March. The name of folders on the bank's servers he is alleged to have accessed include "2015 FY In Progress" – presumably for 2015 fiscal year in progress – "2013 projects," "2014 projects" and "2015 projects."

The other employees named in BMO's case – David Edwards, Robin Gaines, and Justin Colby – are also being targeted for allegedly accessing confidential and proprietary information right before they left the bank.

No one named in the court documents – people who range in rank from vice-president to managing director – could be reached for comment.

BMO has asked all employees who resigned from the Houston office to return any confidential information, but to date nothing has been returned.

"The individual respondents have improperly accessed, retained, or shared BMO's confidential and proprietary information," BMO wrote in court documents. "All of this information was of such a confidential and sensitive nature that disclosing it to a competitor would put BMO at a competitive disadvantage."

Story continues below advertisement

On top of the digital search, BMO asked that the four former employees be prevented from contacting BMO clients and employees and from starting work at UBS.

"BMO Capital Markets takes our obligations to protect confidential information very seriously. We will seek to do that with all means at our disposal, including the courts," a spokesperson wrote in an e-mail.

Since the financial crisis, BMO has emphasized growing its mid-market investment banking business in the United States.

However, its energy acquisitions and divestitures deal flow was subdued in recent years. BMO's U.S. energy practice ranked 20th in 2014 for mergers and acquisitions, behind RBC Dominion Securities Inc. and Scotia Capital Inc., and 28th the year before.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow the author of this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Tickers mentioned in this story
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies