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Jury finds against Archipelago chief Putnam

20 December 2004  |  4943 views  |  0 trading_screen_4

Archipelago chief executive Jerry Putnam cheated a former business partner out of his share of a brokerage business that was the precursor to the launch of the Archipelago electronic communications network, a Cook County jury has found.

The jury stated that Putnam engaged in "usurpation of corporate opportunities" when he took business from a partnership he shared with Fane Lozman to a new firm, Terra Nova Trading. Lozman claims that electronic trading software he helped create was used at Terra Nova and ultimately became the foundation for the launch of Archipelago.

However - in a finding that muddies the waters on the size of potential damages - the jury found in favour of Putnam on counts relating to oral and written agreements signed in 1995 that relinquished him from future claims by Lozman.

The ruling left both sides claiming victory ahead of a January hearing at which damages claims will be argued before a district circuit judge.

Archipelago, which was dismissed as a defendent in the five-year old lawsuit in 2001, raised $126.5 million in a flotation in the summer. In a recent SEC filing, the ECN said that that Putnam may need to satisfy any successful damages claim by Lozman through the sale of a portion of his common stock.

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