Wachovia Beats Suit Alleging Self-Dealing With Trust Assets

Law360, New York (July 17, 2013, 5:12 PM EDT) -- The Seventh Circuit on Wednesday affirmed the dismissal of a suit alleging Wachovia Bank NA breached its fiduciary duty to beneficiaries of a trust, finding the trust instrument authorized the bank to proceed with an insurance transaction from which an affiliate earned a $512,000 commission.

Under the terms of the trust instrument, the appeals court said, Wachovia had “broad discretion” to invest property of the trust that Jim French, a successful Sheboygan, Wis., businessman, established to benefit his four children “without regard to conflicts of interest, risk, lack of diversification, or unproductivity.”

The children sued Wachovia in July 2006 alleging it...

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