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Updated: Missouri Trust & Investment CEO fined in court case

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Last edited 10:43 a.m., March 27, 2018

Editor’s note: This article has been updated with a statement from Missouri Trust & Investment Co. CEO Tim Parrish.

Missouri Trust & Investment Co. CEO Tim Parrish was ordered in court this month to pay a fine to his former employer, Simmons First National Corp. (Nasdaq: SFNC).

Prior to leading the launch of Missouri Trust & Investment last year, Parrish was a senior vice president for Simmons Bank, according to his LinkedIn profile. He previously worked nearly 18 years as senior vice president for Trust Company of the Ozarks, which Simmons purchased in November 2015.

In a lawsuit filed last year — four months before Missouri Trust received its state charter in July 2017 — Simmons, dba Simmons Wealth Management, claimed Parrish violated his stock grant nonsolictiation agreement and stock option nonsoliciation agreement. A June 12, 2017, stipulated permanent injunction barred Parrish from soliciting Simmons’ clients and hiring anyone from its wealth management division, according to court documents.

A March 12 order and judgment in Greene County Circuit Court requires Parrish to pay a $4,000 compensatory fine, as well as $10,090 in attorneys’ fees and costs incurred by Simmons.

“With regard to plaintiff’s motion for contempt, the clear and convincing evidence showed that defendant willfully, recklessly, contumaciously and secretly retained possession of confidential and highly sensitive client information and proprietary documents of plaintiff, and that he used such documents, directly or indirectly, to solicit and meet with customers of plaintiff and otherwise in an effort to compete with plaintiff, all during the pendency of the 6/12/17 injunctions,” the court order written by Judge Jason Brown reads.

The March 12 court documents indicate Parrish sought to dismiss an amended petition filed by Simmons. The court blocked the dismissal, noting the count of breach of fiduciary duty was not dismissed nor addressed in the June 2017 injunction. Parrish has through April 1 to respond to the order.

The latest court entries were on March 20 and March 27.  An injunction order was filed  March 20 related to the deposition of Dwight Rahmeyer. Rahmeyer is listed as chairman of Simmons’ trust operations in the Missouri and Kansas region on the company’s website. The March 27 filing indicates the plaintiff paid for a temporary restraining order bond.

In a statement provided by his attorney, Brett Roubal of Baird Lightner Millsap PC, Parrish said he disagrees with the March 12 court decision after taking “great care” to adhere with the obligations put forth in the June court order last year.

“My legal team is still in the process of determining the best course of action, but I note that the court’s decision could be appealed and the injunction portion of the decision is temporary by nature,” Parrish said in the statement. “I certainly meant no wrong and intend on continuing to do everything in compliance with all court orders.”

At Missouri Trust, typical client accounts have minimum values of $250,000, according to past Springfield Business Journal reporting. Simmons Wealth Management ranked third on SBJ’s 2017 list of the area’s largest trust companies, with $1.05 billion in local assets administered during 2016.

Missouri Trust launched with an employee list that included David Richards, a former senior portfolio manager at Simmons Bank, and Jenifer Martin, an operations consultant who formerly was employed at Trust Company of the Ozarks, according to SBJ reporting. However, both Richards and Martin are no longer with the company, according to email correspondence with them. Another starting employee, Sharon Jobe, previously worked at Trust Company of the Ozarks. A photo on Missouri Trust's website continues to show Martin and Jobe, though it's been edited from an original photo that included Richards.

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