Prominent business people including Gerry Harvey and James Packer, accounting firm PwC and banking giant Citibank have all expressed their outrage at being connected to a new negotiating service linked to convicted fraudster Jon McKenney.
The new business, called The Negotiator, aims to offer price negotiations for high net worth individuals, government and industries.
The firm, run by former Gold Coast real estate agent Jaydan Jensen, aims to make its money by taking 50% of the savings made on any deal.
A glossy package of promotional materials advertising The Negotiator has been sent to over 600 people using the slogan “It’s all about the money”.
The promotional materials include a list of “carefully selected high achievers” who have been “invited” to become a member of the company’s negotiating team.
However, the first most of the individuals knew about the invitation was when they saw their name in The Negotiator’s advertising.
The brochure lists Peter Beattie, John McGrath, Ita Buttrose, Clive Palmer, John Singleton, Paul Keating, Ian Thorpe, Gerry Harvey, Solomon Lew, Alan Jones, Harold Mitchell, Mark Bouris and Jeff Kennett as amongst those invited by the Negotiator to become members of its negotiating team.
None of these individuals appear to have been asked permission for their name to be used in the advertising materials and all those contacted by SmartCompany expressed their displeasure at the liberties the company has taken.
Ian Thorpe’s representative, Robert Smith, told SmartCompany, “the bottom line is that Ian does not and won’t have anything to do with the company.”
Similarly, Jeff Kennett’s assistant says: “Mr Kennett has advised he is not available to join this business and is very annoyed they have used his name without his permission in their material,”
Ita Buttrose’s representative, Winston Broadbent, says: “Ita has received a letter and has not accepted any invitation and won’t be accepting it.”
Gerry Harvey’s assistant says Harvey received the black package with its gold embossing and wax seal last week.
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“I can advise it was discarded to the waste bin by Mr Harvey.”
But it’s not just the big names who are unimpressed. Top end professional services firms Freehills and PwC and banking giant Citi are also featured on the invitation.
“Our accountants (Price Waterhouse) and our legal advisors (Freehills) believe strongly in this business concept and will be advising their clients of this service and encouraging them to use The Negotiator as soon as we become operational,” the promotional materials say.
When asked what Freehills’ involvement is in the business, Jensen says: “We’ve worked very closely with Freehills.”
He claims Freehills is “100%” aware that The Negotiator is using its name in its advertising but Jensen “couldn’t confirm or deny” whether PwC is aware of the use of its name.
Freehills declined to comment.