The verdict, reached on Monday by a jury at the Court of Common
Pleas for the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit in Greenville, South
Carolina, included $3.1 million in actual damages and $5 million in
punitive damages, the person said.
A spokeswoman for BB&T Corp and a lawyer for the plaintiff declined
The plaintiff, Francis Maybank, filed the case against BB&T Corp and
two of its units in 2011. Maybank, of Charleston County, South
Carolina, founded a trust and asset management company that BB&T
acquired in 2001, according to the complaint.
BB&T bought Maybank's firm, which managed $700 million in client
assets, with 246,000 shares of BB&T company stock, according to the
complaint. Maybank hired BB&T's wealth management division in 2006,
when nearing age 74, to advise him on investing his retirement
The BB&T advisers were required to act in Mayfield's best interests
because they were so-called "fiduciaries," but instead put the
company's interests first by not recommending that Mayfield sell off
the company shares and diversify his investments across multiple
asset classes to minimize his market risks, according to the
BB&T recommended a complex investment strategy involving a type of
derivative, a security whose value was linked to the performance of
underlying BB&T stock, which BB&T advisers said would help him to
reduce his concentration in the company's shares while raising cash
which he could invest in a diversified portfolio, Maybank alleged.
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They did not disclose to Maybank that the strategy would force him
into an expensive cycle of rolling over one derivatives transactions
into another, which locked him into paying more fees and incurring
greater tax liabilities while depleting the amount available to him
for investments, according to the complaint.
"They were really leveraging up investments and making it riskier,
under the guise of diversifying and lowering the risk," said Craig
McCann, an economist in Fairfax, Virginia, who testified on behalf
The firm and its advisers also violated their fiduciary duties by
not explaining the speculative nature of the strategy or fees he
would have to pay, which included a $1.3 million upfront charge,
(Reporting by Suzanne Barlyn; Editing by Chris Reese)
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