JPMorgan to Recruit More Private Bankers in Asia

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) plans to increase the number of private bankers in Asia by about 70 percent by the end of 2012 to tap rising wealth in the region.

The second-biggest U.S. bank by assets is hiring 100 advisers to wealthy Asians this year and next, adding to the 140 employed at the end of 2010, Andrew Cohen, the Hong Kong-based chief executive officer of JPMorgan’s private banking for ultra- high net worth individuals in Asia, said in a telephone interview yesterday. These include bankers, global investment specialists, wealth advisers and capital advisers.

JPMorgan, based in New York, joins competitors in expanding offices in the region to win a share of the growing number of rich Asians. Wealth in Asia, excluding Japan, is expected to rise at about double the global rate of almost 6 percent through the next five years, the Boston Consulting Group said in a May 31 report. Millionaires in Asia outnumbered those in Europe for the first time in 2010, according to a report by Capgemini SA and Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management.

“Getting the right talent, training them and retaining them are the biggest challenges in Asia,” said Cohen, who has been heading the Asian business since June 2010. JPMorgan is hiring private bankers, as well as people from corporate banking, hedge funds, private equity and consulting firms with a focus on banking, he said. The bank is also hiring from outside Asia.

Asian Growth

The wealth of 3.3 million high-net-worth individuals in the Asia-Pacific region climbed 12.1 percent last year to $10.8 trillion, exceeding the $10.2 trillion accumulated by 3.1 million people in Europe, according to the Capgemini/Merrill Lynch World Wealth Report released on June 23.

Cohen said he’s committed to the goal given last year of tripling the size of the Asian business in five years.

The forecast is for JPMorgan’s entire private banking business, including the private wealth management unit, which caters to individuals with investable assets of $10 million to $30 million, and the private bank for ultra-high net worth individuals with assets exceeding $30 million.

Cohen didn’t disclose the size of the private banking arm’s assets in the region. Globally, JPMorgan’s private banking operations manage a total of $750 billion.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sanat Vallikappen in Singapore at vallikappen@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chitra Somayaji at csomayaji@bloomberg.net

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