Chicago-based Federal Savings Bank has brought a lawsuit against two former employees, alleging solicitation and “absconding” of a high-profile account.
According to a report in The Real Deal, Federal Savings Bank is suing Ace Watanasuparp and Ronald Riemer for their alleged role in diverting business to Citizens Financial Group and compromising the bank’s high-profile marketing agreement with Douglas Elliman. The lawsuit alleges that Watanasuparp – previously Federal Savings’ head of DE Capital, and now president of Douglas Elliman’s lending division – was “unhappy with his agreed upon compensation,” and therefore “waged a surreptitious campaign” against Federal Savings, which included going after the Elliman account and “setting Citizens up as [the Federal Savings Bank’s] replacement in the marketplace.”
The lawsuit also alleges that when Elliman exercised its option last December to terminate its contract with Federal Savings, Watanasuparp “was actively giving presentations” to Elliman for its business, which lead to Elliman signing a marketing agreement with Citizens and all of DE Capital’s loan officers resigning and joining the firm.
In addition to voiding Citizens’ marketing agreement with Elliman, Federal Savings’ suit seeks financial damages and for Watanasuparp to “disgorge” compensation he received while breaching his “duty of loyalty” to the bank.