Troy-based NorthPointe Capital LLC, a boutique investment adviser, has been awarded $15.2 million in damages and termination fees following a five-year legal battle with Columbus, Ohio-based Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co.
The ruling brings to a close a $25 million case that originated from a June 2007 purchase agreement in which insurance giant Nationwide sold their interest in mutual fund manager NorthPointe — along with the right to receive the income generated by the continued management of seven Nationwide mutual funds, including the considerable Nationwide NVIT Mid Cap Growth Fund. The suit alleged that Nationwide breached the contract and misrepresented the transaction, never having intended to uphold its terms.
“Incredibly, Nationwide’s stated reasoning for merging the funds was that NorthPointe had lost a substantial portion of its assets,” said Judge Andrea L. Rocanelli of the Superior Court of the State of Delaware, in her ruling. “This was disingenuous at best and completely failed to acknowledge Nationwide’s own role when it raided NorthPointe’s NVIT to fund the Nationwide Multi-Managed NVIT.”
NorthPointe’s legal representation of Rodger Young and Jaye Quadrozzi of Young & Associates, demonstrated that Nationwide had not only never intended to allow NorthPointe to manage the funds, but had actively planned and carried out the creation of a new multi-manager NVIT mid cap growth fund to compete directly with the NVIT fund NorthPointe was managing.
“We could not be more gratified with Judge Rocanelli’s ruling. Her recognition of Nationwide’s culpability brings to a close what has been a true David and Goliath conflict,” Young said.