Baseball star Alex Rodriguez at the heart of JPMorgan’s customer poaching store

This week, a JPMorgan Chase banker filed for an injunction against her own employer to stop what she alleges were efforts by colleagues at another division of the US lender. Ky aims to poach her clients, including retired baseball star Alex Rodriguez.

Details of the dispute between Gwen Campbell and JPMorgan were presented on Thursday in a legal filing referring to an unidentified “Pro-Athlete Client,” who was Campbell’s client at Merrill Lynch. before she took them to JPMorgan Advisors when she switched companies. in October 2020.

People familiar with the matter told the Financial Times that the athlete is Rodriguez, who was a quarterback for the New York Yankees and is known by the nickname “A-Rod”. He was on the team that won the 2009 World Series.

Representatives for Campbell and JPMorgan declined to comment on the identity of the client. Representatives for Rodriguez did not respond to a request for comment.

Rodriguez is the highest-paid Major League Baseball player by total career earnings, having earned more than $399 million during his 22-season career, According to Baseball Reference.

In his complaint, Campbell alleges that JPMorgan’s private bank, which like JPMorgan Advisors caters to wealthy clients but is in a separate division of lenders under different leadership, has trying to entice Rodriquez and other clients to leave her group.

The 48-page filing alleges that Campbell was “lucked into a shark tank in which private bankers defamed her to her own clients and attempted to steal client assets from management.” by Campbell”.

“Campbell was the victim of an alleged hire-and-theft ‘play’ within JPMorgan as a result of an internal conflict between the JPMA and the private bank,” the lawsuit alleges.

The filing seeks to put formal restrictions on JPMorgan private bankers soliciting or meeting with Campbell’s clients, as she seeks damages through arbitration for what she alleged breach of contract by JPMorgan.

JPMorgan on Friday filed a petition opposing the request for the ban. The bank said Campbell’s claims “have no merit and we look forward to presenting the matter to the court”.

“All of our clients have access to our world-class solutions platform and the choice of advisors they want to work with. This advisor has not lost any clients while working here,” added JPMorgan.

When Campbell agreed to join JPMorgan last year, she negotiated a contract to address concerns she raised about overlapping interests between JPMorgan Advisors and the private bank and the potential for internal conflict. , according to records.

The dispute has shone a rare glimmer of internal tensions within big banks like JPMorgan, where overlapping departments can sometimes target the same customers. It also reflects the sometimes unwieldy structure of a bank that has been the result of many consolidations over the decades.

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According to the filing, JPMorgan had long aimed for a deeper relationship with Rodriguez but until Campbell joined, he had only “low seven-figure amounts” in an account at JPMorgan’s private bank. When Campbell moved to JPMorgan, Rodriguez and his partner, who cannot be identified, transferred hundreds of millions of dollars in assets and liabilities to the bank.

In the months after she moved to JPMorgan, Campbell alleged that their private bank had “started a covert campaign to compromise Campbell’s relationship with” Rodriguez, including inviting him for financial services. service she provided.

Rodriguez is best known for a career of more than two decades as a professional baseball player but he has since become an investor, broadcaster and businessman.

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