A former junior analyst at Salomon Smith Barney who contends he was fired for refusing to issue an upbeat research report has sued the company for $100 million.
The analyst, Kenneth A. Boss, who was fired by Salomon, a Citigroup subsidiary, in June, contends that he was pressured by two investment-banking colleagues and his supervisor to alter the report’s bearish sentiment on several office-furniture companies. He said in the suit that his colleagues had been “visibly dismayed and angered” after reading his draft report and demanded that the “neutral” ratings assigned to Steelcase and Interface be upgraded to “buy.”
“It is common practice for Salomon Smith Barney to use the carrot of positive research coverage in order to secure lucrative investment banking business,” he said in the suit, filed last week in Federal District Court in Manhattan.
A Salomon spokeswoman said the suit was “without merit.” In a memorandum to employees in August, the firm said, “The facts show the associate was fired for poor performance and failure to meet a `last chance’ deadline, not because he resisted investment banking pressure.”