This is not just a reorg; this is a JPMorgan reorg

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By:
Mark Baker
Published on:

JPMorgan doesn’t do things by halves; it has just moved almost everyone at the top of its investment bank and created what amounts to an internal boutique.

A focus on rainmakers – perhaps also with an eye on the competing attractions for senior staff that lie outside the big global banks – is behind a radical new reshaping of the senior management of JPMorgan’s investment bank.

A raft of product and regional managers have been promoted to a new executive committee of global chairs, to be headed by Carlos Hernandez, the former head of global investment banking and now perhaps likely to be referred to as the "chair of chairs".

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Carlos Hernandez

The move is a hefty increase in the cadre of senior bankers in Hernandez’s direct orbit. His new committee comprises 18 chairs, with 10 new promotions joining the eight chairs that already existed. On the business management side, eight promotions from within product and regional lines join what is a 14-strong investment banking management team, under new heads Vis Raghavan and Jim Casey, who report to Hernandez.

In a memo to staff outlining the changes, Hernandez put them in the context of a transformation of the firm’s global investment banking business that started in 2019. Beefing up client coverage is a priority, and his committee is intended to do just that by freeing the firm’s most senior bankers from the drudgery of running teams, instead placing their focus squarely on client relationships.

“The executive committee will provide dedicated senior coverage to our top clients around the globe and will play a key role in mentoring our next generation of bankers,” Hernandez wrote.

The mentoring reference hints at one of the challenges facing big banks, which is how to provide opportunities for succession with the least disruption. The creation of so many global chair roles also neatly retains a vast store of knowledge and contacts within the firm by effectively constructing an internal boutique – which may help to ward off defections.

It is early days, but so far this is a rare example of a big reshuffle with no departures.

Chair of chairs

Hernandez’s cohort of global chairs now spans the whole spectrum of the division’s activity, across products and regions.

M&A is represented by previous global co-heads Hernan Cristerna and Chris Ventresca. Liz Myers is the former global head of equity capital markets, and joins existing ECM chair Kevin Willsey. 

These four are the only global chairs with an explicit connection to a product, but it is to be expected that others will continue to focus on their historic areas of expertise, although the intention is for them to be able to turn to any situation where they could prove useful. 

Existing chair Larry Landry is a veteran not just of debt capital markets and leverage finance but also of JPMorgan itself, having joined the firm in 1978.

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Viswas Raghavan

Mark Feldman and existing chair Isabelle Sellier have backgrounds in financial institutions coverage, while Steven Frank and Robbie Huffines, also existing chairs, have covered healthcare. John Gammage and Harry Hampson are new global chairs, and are likely to lead on sponsors, and existing chair Jamie Grant on consumer and retail. Real estate banker Lawrence Henry is another new chair, and TMT expert Jennifer Nason is now joined by Noah Wintroub.

New entrant Eric Stein moves from running North America investment banking, having taken over from Willsey in that role back in 2013, while Ben Berinstein, the Bear Stearns survivor, joins the committee as a chair of investment banking.

Andy Cohen, who was already executive chairman of wealth management, joins the committee as part of the firm’s 23 Wall initiative, which aims to bring JPMorgan’s private bank closer to its investment and corporate banking operations.

And in a nod to what Hernandez described as “the importance of the corporate bank in connecting our clients and our colleagues across products and across regions”, global corporate banking head Sjoerd Leenart will continue to report to him.

New management

Filling their former management positions are a raft of promotions from within the business, the most notable being Raghavan and Casey to be global co-heads of investment banking. Raghavan will also retain his role as CEO of JPMorgan EMEA but not his EMEA head of banking position, while Casey gives up his previous job of running global DCM.

Raghavan’s EMEA CEO role sees him additionally report to Mary Erdoes, CEO of JPMorgan’s asset and wealth management division, and to Daniel Pinto, co-president and chief operating officer of the firm.

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Jim Casey

The result of the flurry of global chair appointments is that a raft of senior bankers from the investment banking business lines will now step up to run products and regions.

Investment banking in EMEA will be headed by Dorothee Blessing (who remains as head of investment banking for Germany, Austria and Switzerland) and Conor Hillery, while Fernando Rivas takes over North America investment banking. Filippo Gori continues to head banking in Asia Pacific while Martin Marron stays as head of Latin America investment banking.

On the product side, Kevin Foley will run global DCM, Achintya Mangla and Mike Millman run global ECM, and Anu Aiyengar and Dirk Albersmeier run global M&A. Huw Richards remains in place running digital investment banking while Andy O’Brien continues as head of global loan capital strategy.

Also joining Raghavan and Casey’s management team are Bregje de Best and Brad Tully, the co-heads of global corporate and private side sales, who report to Marc Badrichani, the global head of sales and research. Raghavan and Casey noted that there was more that the firm could do to support clients’ financing, hedging and risk management needs by bringing de Best and Tully’s team closer to the rest of investment banking.