Bloomberg News

Ex-Tullett Prebon Broker Cites ‘Toxic’ Atmosphere in Bonus Suit

December 20, 2011

Dec. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Tullett Prebon Plc’s former head of oil options trading said he was forced to leave the inter-dealer broker because of the behavior of an “erratic” colleague who made up trades and created a “toxic atmosphere.”

Managers failed to deal with the conduct of a trader who became “increasingly erratic, unreliable, irrational and disruptive,” Daniel Sibson said in court filing in London last month in response to a Tullett Prebon lawsuit.

Tullett Prebon sued Sibson for lost profits and the return of his bonus in October, saying he quit the London options desk to work at Vantage Capital Markets LLP without working through a 12-month notice period. Sibson is countersuing for 150,000 pounds ($235,000) for constructive dismissal.

Lawsuits following staff moves are common in the broker- dealer industry. Tullett Prebon in April settled a dispute with BGC Partners Inc. over the defection of 10 traders to the New York-based firm.

Tullett Prebon estimated in an October court filing that it lost out on a total of 861,400 pounds in earnings because Sibson didn’t work during the notice period after resigning in March 2011. It also wants Sibson to repay bonuses worth 25,680 pounds which were subject to “continued loyalty.”

Medication

Sibson said in his counterclaim that he had to take medication because his manager did nothing to address the trader’s behavior.

Sibson declined to comment when reached on the phone, and his lawyers at Parker & Co. Solicitors didn’t respond to an e- mail requesting comment.

“Tullett Prebon will be refuting the allegations made by Mr. Sibson in his defense, and we are currently in the process of preparing our reply,” Charlotte Kirkham, an outside spokeswoman for London-based Tullett Prebon, said in an e-mailed statement.

The trader invented a transaction with JPMorgan Chase & Co. and when Sibson confronted him, said he had “made it up” and it was “a bit mad, wasn’t it?” Sibson’s lawyers said.

The trader accused Sibson of “suppressing” his bonus and undermined morale by praising competitors and saying Tullett Prebon had “lost it,” according to Sibson’s court filing.

The trader “created a toxic atmosphere to the detriment of the effective operation of the desk,” Sibson’s lawyers said in the filing.

The case is: Tullett Prebon Group Limited v. Daniel Sibson, HQ11D03794, High Court of Justice, Queen’s Bench Division.

--Editor: Anthony Aarons, Christopher Scinta

To contact the reporter on this story: Kit Chellel in London cchellel@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net


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