J.P. Morgan has named Michael Paulus as head of public sector coverage of clients such as national governments, central banks and sovereign wealth funds, across the Asia-Pacific region.
The US citizen joins from HSBC and will be based in Hong Kong. He will report to Daniel Zelikow, global head of J.P. Morgan’s public sector coverage efforts, and to Muhammad Aurangzeb, head of the global corporate bank in the Asia-Pacific region.
This newly created role is another step in J.P. Morgan’s efforts to grow its corporate bank in the region. This division helps multinational companies, big financial institutions and public organisations with their everyday needs in areas such as risk management, working capital and cash management.
J.P. Morgan has a large investment banking franchise in Asia, catering to the sporadic and strategic needs of clients across the region, such as organising an initial public offering; but it has lacked the substantial complementary businesses it enjoys in its home market.
“We want to be a one-stop shop for clients’ wholesale banking needs,” Aurangzeb told FinanceAsia in an interview.
As part of this ambition it launched its corporate bank in Asia more than three years ago, and from a standing start has been growing rapidly. Between 2010 and 2012, its compound annual revenue growth is a little over 20% from both multinational as well as Asia-headquartered clients. The New York bank has also grown the number of multinational clients that it provides more than three different types of banking products by 40% between 2010 and 2012.
Its business has been boosted by US and European companies looking to expand eastwards as well as the growth in intra-Asian connectivity.
“It’s about going wider and deeper with clients,” said Aurangzeb, adding that J.P. Morgan has about 300 corporate bankers, about a third of whom are based in Asia.
Paulus has lived in Asia for more than a decade and held a similar role at HSBC and before that at Citi, banks with large and established corporate banking operations in Asia.
Paulus will be responsible for developing and implementing the bank’s public sector coverage strategy and covering key clients personally. For example, his team will be helping central banks manage their reserves.
He served in the Bill Clinton and George HW Bush administrations as deputy assistant secretary for federal finance at the US Treasury. He began his career on the markets desk of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.