fi360 is a privately-held business. But its business is teaching advisors how to be fiduciaries, how to behave professonially. It thus plays a special role in the financial advisor profession. So I strongly disagree with JoeDaWealthManager’s comment to my post about the legal dispute between fi360 and Don Trone. You can't just say, "It is time to move on."
Trone told me his side of the story but there are always two sides to a story like this.
fi360 CEO Blaine Aikin was called and asked for fi360’s side of the dispute. As posted in a comment updating the story, Aikin refused to say anything of substance.
The facts we do know show that the legal battle ended with fi360 being required by a judge to pay Trone $1 million and sign a "compete agreement" explicitly saying Trone can compete with fi360. That lends credence to the validity of Trone’s claim that he was the victim of “a palace coup” by Aikin and three fi360 principals.
But fi360 should want to set the record straight.
The first seven words of fi360.com
’s home page say: “Fi360 promotes a culture of fiduciary responsibility.”
With transparency and ethics so fundamental to it business mission, there’s a troubling irony to fi360’s failure to respond to Trone assertions.
Did fi360’s owners and Aikin behave properly in removing Trone from the company? Did Trone deserve to be removed?
Because fi360 plays a central role in the industry as an advocate for ethical behavior by financial advice professionals, such questions should not be left to linger unanswered.
This story was updated Sept 26 at 10:30 a.m. to correct a spelling error in Blaine Aikin's name.
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