Sun, May 05, 2013 - Page 13 News List

Credit Suisse sues over trade secrets

Bloomberg

Credit Suisse Group AG sued its former vice president of emerging markets, Agostina Pechi, claiming she stole the bank’s trade secrets in a bid to win clients for her new employer, Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

In February and March, Pechi secretly sent e-mails with client lists and other confidential bank information from her work account to her personal inbox, and printed “critical transaction documents” late at night from her office, when she was supposed to be on vacation, Credit Suisse said in a complaint filed on Friday in state court in Manhattan.

Pechi, who made US$950,000 last year and lives in New York, resigned from the Zurich-based bank on April 2, telling Credit Suisse’s human-resources department she was accepting a position at New York-based Goldman Sachs, according to the complaint.

“Pechi decided to steal confidential Credit Suisse information and contacts that she had learned during the course of her employment for Credit Suisse,” according to the complaint.

She plans to use the data “to compete with Credit Suisse, and intends to provide this information to her new employer to specifically target Credit Suisse’s clients,” according to the complaint.

A message left on a mobile phone listed for Pechi, seeking comment on the lawsuit, was not immediately returned on Friday.

Credit Suisse, the second-biggest Swiss bank, alleges Pechi started systematically taking secret bank data by at least Feb. 4, when she e-mailed “highly confidential deal-structuring documents” related to a sensitive deal with a client.

On March 19, Pechi allegedly sent an e-mail to herself containing databases that she had helped build with the bank’s emerging markets team.

She is also accused of sending her client list from Credit Suisse, as well as client lists that she did not personally cover and other “important contacts in the emerging markets space,” according to the complaint.

“There is no question that the databases that Pechi mailed to herself were and are the property of Credit Suisse, developed by Credit Suisse using its own resources,” the bank said in the complaint.

Credit Suisse also claims Pechi deliberately obscured the status of deals with a critical client and in one case, told the bank the client had a “flagging” interest in current and future business while meeting with them on her own.

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