NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Zamansky & Associates LLC is investigating JP Morgan Chase & Co. (“JP Morgan”)(NYSE: JPM) over sales of proprietary mutual funds and Chase Strategic Portfolios for possible securities fraud and/or breaches of duties owed to bank and brokerage firm customers.
On July 3, 2012, The New York Times published an article entitled “Former Brokers Say JP Morgan Favored Selling Bank’s Own Fund Over Others”. This article reported that JP Morgan encouraged its financial advisers to favor JP Morgan's own products even when competitors had better-performing or cheaper options. With one crucial offering, JP Morgan exaggerated the returns of what it was selling in marketing materials, according to documents reviewed by The Times. Additionally, JP Morgan was ordered by arbitrators to pay $373 million to a competitor for favoring its products, despite an agreement it had to sell alternatives.
While investors have pulled money from stock funds, JP Morgan has gathered assets in its stock funds at a rapid rate, despite having only a small group of top-performing mutual funds. Over the last three years, roughly 42 percent of its funds failed to beat the average performance of funds that make similar investments, according to Morningstar, a fund researcher. “I was selling JP Morgan 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 JP Morgan last year. “I couldn't call myself objective.”
The investigation also concerns sales of Chase Strategic Portfolios, an investment program offering managed portfolios that has grown to $20 billion in assets. JP Morgan charges investors management fees of 1.6%, in addition to the fees charged by mutual funds in the portfolios—other firms waive the duplicative fees. According to The New York Times, JP Morgan also provided investors with marketing materials containing misleading “theoretical” returns, which mask the true weaker performance of the Chase Strategic Portfolios.
If you JP Morgan bank or brokerage customer who invested in its mutual funds or the Chase Strategic Portfolios, please contact Jake Zamansky at (212) 742-1414 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Zamansky & Associates is one of the leading law firms specializing in securities fraud and financial services class action litigation and arbitration.