Todd Helfrich is like your usual investment bankers. The ones who amble around with only one care in mind: money. Todd is currently working with Merril Private Wealth Management. He operates as a private wealth manager.
He used to work at JP Morgan and along with Kirk Cunningham, left it last year for a better pay-check and position in another company. While this act is common in many industries, this case is an exception.
And I’ll throw light on how Todd used his position to not only increase his gains but also harm the same company which employed him for over 7 years.
How he tried to steal $160 million from JP Morgan
Todd, along with Kirk, used to manage around $14 billion worth of business for JP Morgan. They were servicing around 110 clients for the company. When they left the company, it didn’t matter much. All JP Morgan cared about at that time was that it doesn’t lose its clients.
No one would want to lose business because some people left. And when Todd left JP Morgan, he didn’t steal any clients then. At least that’s what it seemed like
Then, after 5 months of leaving the company, their mischievous actions started coming in the limelight. JP Morgan filed a lawsuit against Todd Helfrich and Kirk Cunningham for bad-mouthing against them with their clients.
Cunningham and Todd, who used to interact with these clients regularly, were sending them emails and trying to paint a different picture. What could be the purpose for them to send such vicious emails in the first place?
It’s clear, they wanted their past clients (which belong to JP Morgan) to leave their current banker and work with them. Poaching clients is normal but this goes beyond ethical bounds. Even a simpleton can guess that this was a mischievous move meant to drive clients away from their current service provider.
How JP Morgan Retaliated
The people at JP Morgan found out about these efforts of Todd and Kirk from one of their clients. The client had received solicitation emails from Cunningham. JP Morgan took this matter to court where this case got settled for a certain amount.
Multiple clients of JP Morgan were telling them that these guys are saying bad things about the company. They were claiming that JP Morgan only has some junior staff left to handle the clients’ accounts.
Some smaller clients were also saying that these guys had approached them. They had told them that JP Morgan was only focusing on their large clients and was moving them to a smaller unit. Todd and Kirk had done a similar act with the bigger clients of JP Morgan.
According to the large clients of the Private Bank, they were told by these guys that JP Morgan was shifting its focus from the big clients to the smaller ones.
While JP Morgan has started segmenting its clients, that’s another case. What Todd was telling his past clients was something completely far from the truth.
Both Todd and Kirk had violated the ‘non-disparagement’ clauses of their agreements with JP Morgan. The case ended with a settlement but that was just to bury it within details.
What does this incident indicate?
What Todd did with his past employer is highly unethical. Not only did he contact the clients of his now-rival company but he also used his history with them to bad-mouth about them.
Spreading lies and painting the wrong picture only shows that Todd Helfrich is an unethical and immoral investment banker.
He has become a private wealth manager now, which is a field suited only for those who care about their clients and customers. Was he caring about those people when he was lying to them? I don’t think so. I think he was spreading lies about JP Morgan so he could lure those people into availing his services.
He didn’t hesitate in breaking the agreement he had with JP Morgan. One can’t say that he did all of that on a whim. It’s not possible that he just realized something 5 months later and started telling his ex-clients about this realization.
It was a complete conspiracy. He planned these moves way ahead. He conspired with Kirk Cunningham to defame JP Morgan and poach their clients. He can’t claim that he did all of this in good faith or for some good purpose. You should note that he had an agreement with JP Morgan regarding such ordeal which he broke knowingly. And when he got caught, he just got the case settled to make sure that it doesn’t hurt his profession.
He would’ve lost the case, we all know it. Not only did he get the case settled to save face, but he also made sure that people don’t find out about this case easily.
Now he is maintaining a crystal clear profile online and is trying to make sure that he runs his business as if he did nothing wrong. He can’t expect others to forget about his misdeeds. His acts show that he is not a trustworthy and reliable professional. He broke an agreement with his past employer. He lied to his ex-clients. And he did all of these misdeeds knowingly.
Would you trust Todd Helfrich with your money?
I know I won’t. If this guy can betray his employer, there shouldn’t be any doubt that he can betray his clients.
What he did was unethical and immoral. Quitting a job is usual but he went a step ahead and as the facts suggest, started bad-mouthing his past employer.
His sole reason for bad-mouthing JP Morgan was to portray them as the bad guys and steal their clients. This only shows that this man has no ethics and his immoral behaviour knows no bounds. I think he wouldn’t even hesitate to steal from his clients if the time comes.
I would suggest you keep away from fraudsters like Todd Helfrich. He worked at JP Morgan for 7 years and it didn’t take him a second to betray them like that. Remember this before you consider this guy as your banker.