FX market participants are shocked by the news that David Puth, head of Global Currencies and Commodities at JPMorgan has suddenly resigned.
Puth saw his star rise steadily at JPMorgan, where he was considered a long-term survivor. He originally joined Chemical Bank in New York from Citi, where he traded spot cable, in 1988. Since then, he emerged unscathed from Chemicals merger with Manufacturer Hanover Trust, that entitys absorption by Chase Manhattan, the take over of JPMorgan and then the latest deal with Bank One.
Well-placed sources say that recently Puth has stood out as a star performer, with foreign exchange and then the volatile energy areas outshining other business units.
After a restructuring at the bank earlier this year, Puth also assumed responsibility for emerging markets business. FX players are particularly surprised at the timing of Puths move, coming at the end of the year and before bonuses are agreed, let alone paid out.
JPMorgan spokesman Michael Golden confirmed that Puth is leaving the firm at the end of 2006 to pursue other interests. Blythe Masters, chief financial officer of JPMorgan investment bank, who joined the bank as a trainee commodity trader in 1991 after graduating from Trinity College Cambridge with a degree in economics, will assume responsibility for GCC. The emerging markets area will continue to be run by Daniel Pinto, who will also join the investment banks management committee. Both will report to the investment banks joint chief executives, Steve Black and Bill Winters.