JPMorgan Names Ventresca, Cristerna as Global M&A Co-Heads

JPMorgan Names Ventresca, Cristerna as Global M&A Co-Heads
Pedestrians pass in front of the JP Morgan Chase & Co. headquarters in New York. Photographer: Scott Eells/Bloomberg

JPMorgan Chase & Co., the largest U.S. bank by assets, named Chris Ventresca and Hernan Cristerna as co-heads of global mergers and acquisitions.

Ventresca, 46, previously was JPMorgan’s head of North American M&A, while Cristerna, 48, oversaw M&A for Europe, Middle East and Africa, according to a memo obtained today by Bloomberg News. They will report to Jeff Urwin, global head of investment banking. Tasha Pelio, a spokeswoman for New York-based JPMorgan, confirmed the memo’s contents.

JPMorgan, led by Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon, is overhauling top management on its M&A team. Ventresca and Cristerna will have global responsibilities, with each overseeing their former regions, Pelio said. They will share responsibility for deals in Asia, she said.

Combining global M&A under two leaders streamlines the bank’s decision-making, Ventresca said in a phone interview.

“We can move more quickly with common leadership,” Ventresca said. “When an opportunity arises, we can put the right advisory resources in place.”

Until February, Ventresca shared oversight of North American M&A with Jim Woolery, 44, who left the company that month to become deputy chairman at corporate law firm Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft LLP.

Ventresca led JPMorgan’s work with Virgin Media Inc., which was acquired by Liberty Global Inc. for $18.3 billion in February. Cristerna worked on InBev NV’s $61 billion purchase of Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc. in 2008.

“Clearly our clients have become increasingly global in their outlook over the last few years,” Cristerna said in an e-mail. “So it makes perfect sense for our M&A platform to mirror that global outlook.”