According to a Marco Consulting news release issued late Wednesday, the investment consulting firm filed suit Monday in U.S. District Court in Chicago “seeking injunctive relief and money damages.” Both sides entered into an “agreed order” Wednesday preventing Mr. Jones and Morgan Stanley from having any contact for the next 14 days with Marco Consulting clients Mr. Jones had been serving before he left the company April 15, according to the news release.
Marco Consulting sues ex-president, Morgan Stanley
On April 20, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, Morgan Stanley's wealth management unit, announced that Mr. Jones had joined the group's investment consulting arm, Graystone Consulting, as a senior vice president and institutional consulting director, focused on the Taft-Hartley marketplace.
In a telephone interview, Jack Marco, chairman of Marco Consulting, said his firm immediately sought a restraining order after getting a call Monday from National Retirement Fund, a New York-based client whom Mr. Jones had been serving, asking Mr. Marco to come to a meeting at which Mr. Jones would also be present, to discuss the more than $1 billion union plan's consulting relationships going forward.
Mr. Marco said Mr. Jones' contract with Marco Consulting contained a non-compete clause preventing the former senior consultant from contacting, soliciting or offering his services to the clients he served while at Marco Consulting for a period of two years upon leaving the firm. Mr. Marco said he has subsequently confirmed that Mr. Jones had contacted other former clients as well.
Reached by telephone, Mr. Jones declined to comment. Morgan Stanley spokeswoman Christy Pollak also declined to comment.
Mr. Marco said he attended the meeting Wednesday with trustees of the National Retirement Fund and Michael Joyce, a senior Boston-based consultant whom Marco Consulting has named as Mr. Jones' replacement. Mr. Jones did not attend the meeting, in accordance with the agreed order.
Mr. Marco said a court hearing has been scheduled toward the end of the two-week period agreed to between the two sides.