JPMorgan Hires BofA’s Latter as Co-Head of South Africa Unit

Updated on
  • Kevin Latter leaves Bank of America after just over a year
  • Latter to work with Marc Hussey, to report to Sjoerd Leenart

Kevin Latter is joining JPMorgan Chase & Co. in Johannesburg from Bank of America Corp., becoming the New York-based bank’s co-head of South African operations.

Latter has also been appointed head of investment banking for sub-Saharan Africa, JPMorgan said in an e-mailed statement on Tuesday. He will work with Marc Hussey, who heads corporate banking for sub-Saharan Africa, as joint senior country officer, and both of them will report to Sjoerd Leenart, JPMorgan’s regional head for Middle East, Turkey and Africa, the lender said.

Bank of America hired Latter to run Merrill Lynch’s investment banking unit in South Africa from June last year. Prior to that, he was a Deutsche Bank AG managing director and spent eight years with the German lender. JPMorgan Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon, said in October that the bank -- which has offices in South Africa and Nigeria -- wants a presence in more African countries to spur growth.

Of the 15 registered local branches of foreign banks in South Africa, JPMorgan was the third-largest lender by the end of April after HSBC Holdings Plc and Citigroup Inc., according to data compiled by the South African Reserve Bank. JPMorgan had 36.5 billion rand ($2.5 billion) of assets in South Africa in April, down from a record 57.1 billion rand in December as the country’s economy shrank in the first quarter.

Latter is one of the “best and most experienced investment bankers” in the region, Leenart said in the statement, adding that JPMorgan remains committed to its sub-Saharan Africa business.

(Updates with company comment in final paragraph.)
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