Boardroom Hoax Has Street Abuzz

Analyst imposter gets access to top execs and has everyone baffled
By Jim O'Neill,  Newser User
Posted Feb 16, 2008 7:47 AM CST
A hoax caller is haunting Wall Street earnings calls.   (ShutterStock)

(Newser) – Joe Herrick asks wonk-like questions about the impact of lean Six Sigma management techniques, is unfailingly polite and talks the talk of quarterly corporate conference earnings calls, fitting in nicely with the other securities analysts asking questions of the company’s head honchos. The problem is, reports the Wall Street Journal, Herrick is a hoax, and his mission is a mystery.

He’s insinuated himself into calls with execs from PepsiCo, Molson and several other companies, each time posing as a well-known analyst to get selected, then introducing himself as “Joe Herrick of Gutterman Research,” and asking his question and follow ups. His impersonation has ruffled feathers, but little else. "If he was spoofing I would hope he'd be funnier," says one analyst.