JPM names Asia CEO

J.P. Morgan names Jeff Urwin CEO of Asia-Pacific

For the first time, J.P. Morgan’s global head of investment banking will be based in Asia when Jeff Urwin relocates from New York in May to become the CEO of Asia-Pacific.
Jeff Urwin becomes Asia-Pacific CEO of J.P. Morgan
Jeff Urwin becomes Asia-Pacific CEO of J.P. Morgan

J.P. Morgan announced yesterday that Jeff Urwin, head of global investment banking coverage, capital markets and mergers and acquisitions, will relocate from New York to become the bank’s Asia-Pacific chief executive officer, based in Hong Kong, taking over the role Gary Abdelnour is vacating.

Almost a month ago, we reported that after 14 years with J.P. Morgan, six of them as chairman and CEO of Asia, Abdelnour had resigned. Rumours were circulating then that the replacement might come from New York as bankers in the West look to move to Asia where deals are still getting executed.

This is the first time J.P. Morgan’s global head of investment banking will be based in Asia-Pacific. Urwin will be responsible for overseeing all of J.P. Morgan’s strategic activities in the region, along with his current global banking responsibilities. He will relocate to Hong Kong from New York in May and continue to report to Jes Staley, CEO of the investment bank.

“Jeff is a proven and trusted leader, and is highly respected by clients and colleagues around the world,” said Staley. “Basing our global head of investment banking in Asia-Pacific further cements our ongoing commitment to the region and its importance to our global franchise.”

Under Abdelnour’s leadership, J.P. Morgan’s Asia-Pacific business has doubled in size and tripled its net earnings. The bank has also executed strategic initiatives in China, including the establishment of a securities joint venture with First Capital Securities, setting up a locally incorporated bank and opening a series of new branch offices in the country.

Before his global banking role, Urwin was co-head of investment banking for North America — and, before that, he was head of investment banking coverage, Americas, where he was responsible for industry group coverage of corporate clients in the region.

Prior to joining J.P. Morgan, he was co-head of global investment banking at Bear Stearns, a position he held since 2000. He joined Bear Stearns as head of international investment banking in 1996. He also served as head of global emerging markets at Lehman Brothers in New York, and was also a senior banker and member of the board of directors at Samuel Montagu & Co in London, which is now part of the private banking business at HSBC, which makes for an interesting track record. Urwin has basically worked for a series of banks that no longer exist as they once did.

He is currently a member of JPMorgan Chase’s firm-wide executive committee, the investment bank operating committee and the international steering committee. In addition, he serves on the board of directors for the JPMorgan Chase Foundation.

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