A U.S. District Court in Washington awarded Riggs Investment Management Corp. $352,000 in a lawsuit against Columbia Partners and Robert A. Von Pentz, a former chief executive who helped form Columbia in September 1995.
Riggs had sought more than $6.7 million in the lawsuit, and alleged Mr. Von Pentz had spent the last six months at Riggs working on Columbia instead of on Riggs business.
The bank also sued Columbia for luring employees to the firm, failing to give credit to other Riggs employees for Mr. Von Pentz's track record there, and for taking too much credit for creating a proprietary computerized investment model.
The court, however, ruled Mr. Von Pentz, and not Riggs, was the creator of the computer model, and changes Columbia made in February 1996 in portraying Mr. Von Pentz's track record are accurate.
"It's over and we are going forward," said Terence W. Collins, president of Columbia Partners. "They got 5% of what they were asking for. While we are not happy to pay the money, we don't want to get involved in any (protracted) legal battles," he said.