The following information is from documents filed with Oakland County Circuit Court in MI and other sources. The Honorable Wendy Potts confirmed an arbitration award against James S. Gladney in May 2018:
Rick Ferri is no longer affiliated with Portfolio Solutions®, the investment firm he founded and managed for many years. In 2015, private equity investor, James S. Gladney (Jim) of Naples, Florida, acquired an interest in the Company from a former partner and became Managing Partner. Soon thereafter, Mr. Gladney began a harsh campaign of willfully unfair and oppressive conduct designed to disenfranchise Mr. Ferri and oust him from the Company.
Mr. Gladney reneged on business agreements signed with Mr. Ferri and engaged in wrongful acts that forced Mr. Ferri off the Investment Committee, usurped his intellectual property, froze him out of business activities including access to clients and employees, and denied Mr. Ferri access to Company books and records. Mr. Gladney then eliminated partner distributions to Mr. Ferri and began paying himself a half-million dollar salary without approval.
Mr. Ferri brought legal action against Mr. Gladney in 2016 and litigation followed. In 2018, a panel of three arbitrators found in favor of Mr. Ferri. The panel stated the cumulative result of Mr. Gladney’s series of actions was to neutralize and isolate Mr. Ferri as a participating member of the firm and to substantially interfere with Mr. Ferri’s interests as an owner.
An Oakland County Circuit Court judge confirmed the arbitrator’s ruling against Mr. Gladney and he was ordered to pay damages, return the intellectual property, and buy-out Mr. Ferri’s remaining interest. Mr. Ferri was also granted a short non-compete period that ends in April 2019. Detailed Information on the case is available through Oakland County Circuit Court, Oakland County, MI / Case no. 18-165064-CB / Date: May 23, 2018.
Supporting documents link: Michigan Lawyer’s Weekly article – Court Order – Arbitration Award