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Regulation and Compliance > Litigation

JPMorgan Sues Ex-Advisor for Moving Clients to Wells Fargo

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What You Need to Know

  • The advisor has been calling former clients, with at least one reporting he was annoyed by multiple calls, JPMorgan says in the suit.
  • Gomez resigned from JPMorgan on March 5 and immediately joined Wells Fargo.
  • Calling former clients is a violation of his JPMorgan employment agreement, the firm says.

JPMorgan is seeking a restraining order against a former advisor for soliciting clients to move their accounts from JPMorgan to his current employer, Wells Fargo.

Clients have told JPMorgan that the advisor, Gabriel Gomez, has called their personal phones, with one client reportedly receiving five or six calls, according to the suit.

The lawsuit, filed Monday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, also requests a preliminary injunction “to maintain the status quo” pending resolution of an arbitration proceeding between JPMorgan and Gomez that is being filed with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

The dispute, according to the suit, arises out of the resignation of Gomez’s employment with JPMorgan “and the immediate commencement of his employment with Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC d/b/a Wells Fargo Advisors …, a direct competitor of JPMorgan.”

Gomez resigned from JPMorgan on March 5 and immediately joined Wells Fargo.

At the time of his resignation, Gomez worked as a private client advisor in a bank branch office of JPMorgan Chase Bank, an affiliate of JPMorgan, in Sunrise, Florida.

“JPMorgan has learned that since resigning from JPMorgan and joining Wells Fargo, Defendant is soliciting JPMorgan clients to move their accounts from JPMorgan to him at Wells Fargo,” the suit states.

“It appears that Defendant’s improper solicitation efforts have proved successful,” the suit continues, “as at least eight JPMorgan clients, with assets totaling $2.9 million, already have transferred their accounts” to Wells Fargo.

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At the time he left JPMorgan, the advisor serviced approximately 300 JPMorgan households, “virtually all of which were either pre-existing JPMorgan clients at the time they were assigned to [Gomez], or were developed by [Gomez] at JPMorgan,” the suit states.

The clients whom JPMorgan had assigned to Gomez to service had a total of approximately $110 million in total assets under management.

Gomez now seeks to “improperly induce” such JPMorgan clients to follow him to Wells Fargo, in violation of his employment agreement, the suit states.

JPMorgan said Gomez is soliciting JPMorgan clients via phone calls, including calls to clients on their personal cell phones.

“The clients have informed JPMorgan that Defendant’s communications have been more than simply announcing his change of employment, and that he is actively seeking to induce them to do business with him at Wells Fargo,” the suit states.

At least 10 JPMorgan clients have informed the firm that they have received one or more phone calls from Gomez “seeking to set up a meeting with the client to discuss doing business with him at Wells Fargo or outright asking the clients to transfer their business from JPMorgan to him at Wells Fargo,” according to the suit.

One JPMorgan client informed JPMorgan that Gomez “had called him five or six times asking the client to move with him to Wells Fargo. Another JPMorgan client complained that it was annoying that [Gomez] was repeatedly calling him.”

Another client, the suit states, “informed JPMorgan that Gomez told the client that she should move to Wells Fargo because Gomez’s ‘hands are tied’ at JPMorgan when it came to providing investment solutions to clients.”