Home Alts News Michigan RIA Files Lawsuit Over Trademark of Altruist Name

Michigan RIA Files Lawsuit Over Trademark of Altruist Name

Altruist Financial Advisors LLC, a Michigan-based financial advisory firm, has filed a lawsuit against Altruist Corporation, an investment platform, regarding the businesses’ having similar names creating confusion with investors.

“We’ve documented many dozen instances of ‘actual confusion,’” said Eric Haas, chief executive officer of Altruist Financial Advisors LLC, an RIA in Holland, Michigan.

According to Haas, at least 21 investors’ personal information and funds were mistakenly sent to his firm.

“Perhaps the issue of greatest concern is that mom and pop investors who’ve put their money and trust with the (Altruist brokerage platform, based in Culver City, California) are having their personal information mistakenly divulged to us — names, Social Security numbers, dates of birth, account numbers, etc.,” Haas said. “We’ve even had checks mistakenly sent to us.”

Haas’ firm says the Michigan advisory has owned the Altruist trademark since 2001. His firm had $252 million in assets under management at year-end 2022.

The firm’s lawsuit concluded that Jason Wenk, who founded the Altruist digital platform in 2018, contacted him in early 2019 about obtaining a license for the Altruist trademark.

Despite Haas’ refusal, Wenk and his company used the name, according to the advisor.

Haas’ firm claims federal trademark counterfeiting, trademark infringement, unfair competition and cybersquatting claims, as well as Michigan state law violations.

Click here to visit The DI Wire directory page.