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USI Insurance sues Lockton for poaching $25M Wells Fargo team

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USI Insurance sues Lockton for poaching $25M Wells Fargo team

USI Insurance Services has filed a lawsuit in a Texas federal court against Lockton-Dunning Series of Lockton Cos. LLC for hiring a private risk management team that generated roughly $25 million per year just prior to the completion of its acquisition of subsidiary Wells Fargo Insurance Services USA Inc.

The companies have also sued former Wells Fargo employee Desire Albion, who is now vice president of private risk management at Lockton, for alleged breach of contract.

The complaint alleges that, with the "encouragement and assistance" of Lockton, Albion has been soliciting Wells Fargo Insurance Services customers. According to the lawsuit, Albion violated an agreement with Wells Fargo that prohibited her from encouraging any of its employees to leave the company or solicit its clients for two years.

The lawsuit demands that Lockton and Albion return all confidential, proprietary and trade-secret information belonging to Wells Fargo; that Albion be restricted, for two years, from directly or indirectly soliciting any of its customers; and that Lockton be prevented from using any confidential company information to solicit Wells Fargo Insurance Services customers.

USI acquired Wells Fargo Insurance Services USA earlier this year.

USI and Wells Fargo Insurance Services earlier this month filed a suit against Lockton in a Florida court for similar reasons. The complaint names former Wells Fargo employees Jo Rasmussen, Sharon Trautewig and Thomas Bonafede as parties to the suit for alleged breach of duty.

Led by Rasmussen, former senior vice president of private risk management at Wells Fargo Insurance Services' Tampa office, Jill Bull, Lorraine Gant, Shirley Gordon, Chad Elgas, Michelle Shaner, Bonafede and Trautewig resigned en masse to join Lockton, according to the complaint.

Lockton declined to provide any comment on the matter.