very well from 1990-1995, and is entitled to keep others from profiting from that record. It is also apparent that there are really no means of preventing Columbia Partners from doing just that, other than by ordering injunctive relief -- the court is simply not convinced that Columbia Partners will behave if left unsupervised. On the other hand, von Pentz and the personnel of Columbia Partners had much to do with the record developed at RIMCO and are entitled to let potential investors know that. Therefore, the court will attempt to narrowly tailor the injunction to stop the unfair advertising practices, but to do so in a manner which is fair to the defendant.
Therefore, the court will enjoin Columbia Partners in the following manner: Columbia Partners may not portray, either orally, in writing, or on a computer database, its performance record in a manner which "links" its record to RIMCO's. It may, however, refer to RIMCO's record in accordance with its current revised guidelines for presentation. Columbia Partners may also refer to its analytical model as outlined in the revised guidelines. The revised guidelines require face-to-face presentations, for example, before RIMCO's record is distributed, but also allow for exceptions to be made if first cleared with the compliance officer. The court agrees that the compliance officer may allow certain exceptions to the revised guidelines, but in no circumstance may such an exception permit "linkage" of records. When exceptions are made, Columbia Partners must notify RIMCO of what the exception is, and to whom it is being made. In short, then, Columbia Partners is enjoined to follow its revised guidelines for presentation, but with the caveats expressed by the court. Should Columbia Partners desire to revise again its revised guidelines within three years, it must petition the court for permission.
Though this court has seen only a glimpse of the investment management profession, if anything is clear, it is that at its essence is the race for the buck, and those who can't grab it fast enough fall behind. That is not to say, however, that this is an evil business. Investment drives our economy, employs Americans, feeds families. But as the average person has no idea how to invest, there are experts who show us which businesses we can do the most for, and which will do the most for us. We thus reward those experts, investment managers, who successfully direct our hard-earned funds to companies and corporations which are productive to our society. By appropriately compensating these individuals, we encourage them to be more careful with our money, and lure those with great talent in this area to use that talent in the investment arena, as opposed to other, perhaps less lucrative occupations.
In this case, the court is presented with a man who may not have been paid according to his worth. The problem, however, is that some of the steps he took to increase his compensation -- in conjunction with forming a new company in which he would have an equitable share in the profits -- were forbidden by law. And that new company, in an effort to compete in a very intense marketplace, would also violate the law. Perhaps some of these behaviors were economically efficient, but our common law and our Congress have determined that efficiency is not always of paramount importance. Loyalty and fair-play are also prized values. Riggs and RIMCO do not necessarily hold a moral high ground in this litigation. They are just as competitive as Columbia Partners. But this is not a morality contest, it is about who violated the law. On that score, von Pentz and Columbia Partners overstepped their legal bounds, and for that the court will appropriately sanction them, providing proper relief for plaintiffs in the process.
For the reasons stated above, Robert von Pentz must forfeit the salary he earned from RIMCO between April 1, 1995 and September 28, 1995 in the amount of $ 87,500 for his breaches of his duty of loyalty to his employer. Furthermore, Columbia Partners will disgorge profits it earned from the equity portion of its business between October 2, 1995 and February 15, 1996 in the amount of $ 265,071.25 as a result of its violation of the Lanham Act. Furthermore, Columbia Partners will be enjoined from engaging in any false advertising, in a manner in accordance with the above opinion.
A separate order shall issue this date, along with a final judgment.
Royce C. Lamberth
United States District Judge