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Former Strategist Sues UBS Over Pressure to Bias His Research

cnbc.comAugust 2, 2012

By Jed Horowitz

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A commercial mortgage-backed securities strategist at UBS Securities filed a whistle-blower suit that alleges he was fired for refusing to publish biased reports.

Trevor Murray, the lead CMBS strategist at the UBS AG's U.S. securities unit from May 2011 to February 2012, filed a lawsuit in federal court in Manhattan on Thursday seeking reinstatement and two times the amount of back-pay that the firm allegedly owes him.

Murray, who said he was recruited to rejoin UBS as it was beefing up the mortgage securitization unit, alleges that the unit head and his traders pressed him to write reports that supported their positions and the firm's products.

"Despite the pressure placed on plaintiff to skew his research to be more favorable to UBS Securities, he did not publish any report that was inconsistent with his own research," his complaint says.

A UBS spokeswoman did not return a call for comment.

Murray was laid off from UBS Securities in September 2009, but recruited back as lead CMBS strategist at a salary of $250,000. He was told to expect annual bonuses ranging from three-fourths to twice his annual salary, according to the lawsuit.

He was fired about two months after complaining to supervisors about pressure from traders, despite receiving "another spotless review" for his performance as a strategist.

The whistle-blower claim, brought under the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010, alleges that Murray was dismissed "for exercising his legally protected rights to inform his supervisors about, and refuse to participate in, conduct that he reasonably believed violated laws and rules designed to protect consumers from fraudulent practices in connection with the sale of securities," the suit says.

Editing by Leslie Gevirtz

Back to August 2012 Archive

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