Rather than wine, dine and schmooze his clients yet one more time, Jim Beck put hammers in their hands one Saturday and put them to work rebuilding an elderly woman's house in Robbins, Ill.
A Chicago-based vice president who heads client relationship management for the central region for J.P. Morgan Fleming Asset Management, Mr. Beck invited one of his biggest clients, the Illinois State Board of Investment, and area consultants to join his staff in the 10th annual Christmas in April program of the non-profit organization Rebuilding Together.
The J.P. Morgan Fleming team of 12 people was paired with 12 skilled construction workers, whose company donated the day of labor, to gut and rebuild the woman's kitchen, bathroom and laundry room; rebuild her front stairs; replace her leaky porch roof; paint her bedroom; and clean her house. The team worked a solid 10 hours and some "like me, are still rather sore from the experience," Mr. Beck said.
J.P. Morgan Fleming staff were joined by plan sponsors Ron Schmitz, chief investment officer, and Keith Cardoza, a portfolio manager, for the Illinois State Board of Investment.
Mr. Beck said he learned, to his surprise, that Mr. Schmitz was handy with the tool belt J.P. Morgan Fleming gave to all the participants, because he had done a lot of work around his house. Mr. Beck said he was most gratified that both Mr. Cardoza and Mr. Schmitz said they would love it if even more plan sponsors, consultants and employees were invited to participate next year.
J.P. Morgan Fleming staff and clients also were busy in San Francisco working on a "home-like" environment at two Nailah Foster Family Agency group facilities supporting emotionally disturbed, neglected and abused children.
In New York City staff focused on renovating the interior and exterior of the Childs Memorial Christian Academy School.