SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – Thomas Weisel Partners claims its executive Praveen Chakravarty stole trade secrets and handed them over to competitor BNP Paribas, destroying Weisel’s India-based equity research service, and costing Weisel millions.
Weisel says it sent Chakravarty to India in 2005 to oversee the development of Discovery Research, a subscription-based service in which India-based securities analysts would study small- and mid-cap public companies for clients.
While Weisel spent millions of dollars developing Discovery, it says, Chakravarty fed confidential information to Paribas about the compensation and qualifications of key Discovery’s employees, and with Paribas’ encouragement, persuaded 20 of them to quit en masse in this fall to join Paribas’ new India-based securities research team.
Unable to recruit, retrain or license new employees fast enough to meet client obligations, Weisel says it had to shut down Discovery Research two days after Paribas announced the launch of its competing business.
Weisel claims Paribas could not have created its competing company so quickly, and destroyed Discovery, without the conspiracy, interference, breach of duties, breach of contract and theft of trade secrets.
Weisel demands punitive damages and the return of all the allegedly stolen secrets. It is represented by Gilbert Serota with Howard Rice Nemerovski Canady Falk & Rabin. See complaint.