125 Monument Circle   ·   Indianapolis, IN  46204   ·   317.636.4577


CCC Charges JPMorgan Chase with Mismanagement of Trust Funds

Posted by
The Very Rev. Stephen Carlsen (317) 636-4577, Ext. 642  
Linda Pence (317) 833-1111 
Lou Gerig  (317) 442-4953
August 13, 2014 
INDIANAPOLIS – Historic Christ Church Cathedral today filed a complaint against JPMorgan and Chase Company in the U.S. District Court of the Southern District, alleging mismanagement of trust funds. 
The petition accuses JPM of investing money from the Church’s Lilly Trusts in risky, complicated and questionable investments that are inappropriate for these trusts, which are used to support the ongoing ministries of Christ Church Cathedral. The complaint asks the court to award monetary damages from JPM based on breach of trusts and charging of exorbitant fees. 
Linda Pence, attorney for Christ Church, explained, “The bank has been making investment decisions for the benefit of itself without regard for what would be best for the church’s trusts.” She added that JPM’s actions are in violation of federal, state and common law obligations requiring the bank to adhere to the highest fiduciary standards. 
The complaint cites excessive fees and commissions as a basis for seeking damages and alleges that the Christ Church Trusts lost about $13 million in value as a result of JPM decisions to purchase 177 different investment products, mostly from itself – producing the highest revenues to JPMorgan to the detriment of Christ Church
In his 1973 will, philanthropist Eli Lilly bequeathed a portion of his estate to Christ Church Cathedral. In December 2013, JPM voluntarily resigned as trustee, and the Probate court appointed the Christ Church Cathedral Foundation as successor trustee. 
The Rev. Stephen Carlsen, Dean and Rector of Christ Church Cathedral, noted, “The bank’s actions cost the Trust millions of dollars and consequently hampered our ability as a congregation to offer our ministry to our community and to support local organizations within our community. We are seeking a legal remedy to recover these damages.” 
“The losses cited in this complaint have prevented Christ Church from achieving the growth needed to fund its ministries and are the inevitable consequence of an obvious conflict of interest,” said Pence. 
“Altogether, the portfolio benefited JPMorgan but not Christ Church.” 

A Letter to the CCC Community:

Dear Friends,


Today, Christ Church filed a complaint in federal court against JP Morgan and Chase Bank seeking damages for breach of trust and exorbitant fees.


You may recall that in January, at the annual meeting, we announced that a new foundation, the Christ Church Cathedral Foundation, had been appointed by the Marion County Probate Court as the successor trustee for the trust. Today, this new foundation and its directors, who are appointed by the Vestry, are overseeing that Trust and other endowments of Christ Church. Three years ago, the Vestry initiated a legal process to secure this trust for future generations. Taking all necessary actions to establish a new foundation was the first goal. After this outcome was secured, the Vestry faced a decision as to whether to pursue a claim for damages.


After exhausting avenues other than litigation and after a careful and thoughtful decision process in consultation with the directors of the new foundation, legal counsel, investment advisors and the members of the Investment Committee, there was a strong consensus to take this action. The Vestry in a special meeting in July authorized the filing of this complaint.


According to Senior Warden, Ken File, "This is an issue of stewardship." The Lilly Trust and endowment funds were given by Eli Lilly so that Christ Church could "carry on its religious, charitable and educational purposes" from the heart of his city, Indianapolis, as the only remaining church on Monument Circle. The Vestry felt the obligation to seek legal remedy because the actions of one of its former trustees, JP Morgan/Chase. These actions cost the Trust millions of dollars and consequently hampered our ability as a congregation to offer ministry to our community and to support local organizations within our community. We are seeking legal remedy to recover these damages.


A press conference was held today at 2 p.m. The Indianapolis Star has already released a story, which will be updated.


If you have any questions, please contact me or one of the Wardens, Ken File and Barbie Russell. We will be available in the Parish Hall after the service on Sunday to answer your questions as we are able. I ask for your prayers for the Vestry and other leaders of Christ Church who are seeking to secure these funds to benefit our ministries and outreach for this and future generations.


Faithfully yours,




Stephen Carlsen  




Volunteer Choir Forming Now

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Everybody is invited to sing! 


A volunteer choir of women and men will begin meeting on Sunday, September 14, 7 p.m., in the rear balcony of the Cathedral. There will be three rehearsals prior to the first Compline service on Sunday, October 5, at 8:30 p.m. People of all ages, backgrounds and denominations are welcome. More information on scheduling and auditions will be available at the first rehearsal.




Nuestra Música Sagrada Our Sacred Music

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Join us for a night of Sacred music from Latin America at Christ Church Cathedral on Sunday, September 21, 4:30 p.m. This event is presented by the Hispanic Ministry and Coro Hispano at Christ Church Cathedral, and it promises to be a night of beautiful music, delicious food, and fun fellowship.


The first half of the concert will feature section leaders and instrumentalists who have been singing and playing professionally with Coro Hispano performing sacred music from Mexico, Brazil, Costa Rica and Spain; in the second half, the audience will enjoy the Latin American sacred songs that the full Choir usually performs during the regular Hispanic Service, which will feature beautiful melodies, heart felt lyrics, and dynamic and driving rhythms all from Latin America.


After the concert, all are invited to join us at the Parish Hall for a celebration of Hispanic Heritage, with more fun music and food.


Sunday, September 21, 4:30 p.m. 

at Christ Church Cathedral, 125 Monument Circle

Todos son bienvenidos. | All are welcome.


Contact Yuri Rodriguez or Veronica Godinez at (317) 636-4577 for more information. 


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