If you’re a current or former Intel employee, you may have received a settlement check that resulted from a class action lawsuit. Some of our clients contacted us about the legitimacy of the check.
You may remember reading about the lawsuit filed in 2011 which alleged four Silicon Valley companies (Apple, Google, Intel and Adobe Systems) agreed to not poach each others' top engineers, and that such an agreement violated federal anti-trust laws by serving to fix and suppress employee compensation. There is a lot of related news online, but here Reuters has a good update on the case here. And if you're really interested (or bored) a full copy of the complaint can be found here as well.
That said, we are not concerned about the legitimacy of the check. Should you receive a check, you will be required to report this as income for 2015 according to the 1099 which is attached to the check. And for clients, should you like to deposit it to your investment account please reach out and we can follow up with instructions to do so.
We have no idea whether Intel, Apple or other companies involved are guilty of a conspiracy to hold down wages as the case implies—we don’t have an opinion on the case. However, a case like this is a good reminder of the value of aligned interests. The best results come from alignment between employers and employees and all parties working towards common goals.
At Cordant, we see a lack of alignment as big problem in the financial services industry. As Cordant founder William Anfuso previously wrote on this blog, “Wall Street brokerage firms were built on the idea of giving affluent people an opportunity to invest their money, but it wasn’t long before firms were struck with a novel realization – catering to the companies offering investment products is a lot more profitable than catering to individual wealth management clients.”
Just as we want congressmen that enact laws which put the the interests of their constituents first, we believe that financial advisors should act in the best interests of their clients, and not be incentivized to do otherwise. By choosing to act as a fiduciary to our clients, Cordant has adopted the highest legal standard of care, meaning that our advisors are paid for advice only and not because we sell products. We are committed to a deliberate approach to wealth management which helps clients use their wealth to move them toward their financial goals.