“I was selling JPMorgan funds that often had weak performance records, and I was doing it for no other reason than to enrich the firm,” said Geoffrey Tomes, who left JPMorgan last year and is now an adviser at Urso Investment Management. “I couldn’t call myself objective.”
JPMorgan, with its army of financial advisers and nearly $160 billion in fund assets, is not the only bank to build an advisory business that caters to mom and pop investors. Morgan Stanley and UBS have redoubled their efforts, drawn by steadier returns than those on trading desks.
But JPMorgan has taken a different tack by focusing on selling funds that it creates. It is a controversial practice, and many companies have backed away from offering their own funds because of the perceived conflicts.
Morgan Stanley and Citigroup have largely exited the business. Last year, JPMorgan was the only bank among the 10 largest fund companies, according to the research firm Strategic Insights.
“It said financial adviser on my business card, but that’s not what JPMorgan actually let me be,” said Mathew Goldberg, a former broker who now works at the Manhattan Wealth Management Group. “I had to be a salesman even if what I was selling wasn’t that great.”Page 2 of 7 | Prev Page | Next Page