JPMorgan launches new Latin charm offensive
Nicolás Aguzín’s appointment as chairman of JPMorgan’s Latin American franchise heralds a new strategy in the region. Gone is the big picture approach; now the emphasis is on getting the nitty-gritty right and building long and lasting corporate relationships. Felix Salmon reports.
It’s Friday, and Nicolás Aguzín has had a long week. He spent Monday night on a plane up to New York, Wednesday night on a plane down to Argentina for a lunch meeting with a client and Thursday night on a plane back to New York. He travels a lot as head of Latin American M&A at JPMorgan, meeting clients. And for most of the past year, he’s had another job on top of that: running all of JPMorgan’s Latin America operations.
JPMorgan executives generally downplay the restructuring that happened in its Americas group last year. The message is that nothing much has changed: ‘We always were the best, and we still are.’ But JPMorgan’s Latin America business now is very different from a few years ago. And Aguzín is at the forefront of the changes.
Aguzín got the job in February, but the first that most people heard about JPMorgan’s new structure was at the annual meetings of the Inter-American Development Bank in Okinawa, in April. Gossip thrives in such an atmosphere, and the top topic of conversation at cocktail parties and investor meetings there was what had happened to JPMorgan’s Latin America chairman, Brian O’Neill.