JP Morgan poaches DuCharme as Asia treasury and securities CEO

Thomas DuCharme surprises colleagues at Deutsche Bank with his sudden departure to J.P. Morgan, where he will take part in an initiative to expand the bank's services to corporate clients.
Thomas DuCharme
Thomas DuCharme

J.P. Morgan is flexing its muscle with the appointment of Thomas DuCharme as Asia-Pacific chief executive of treasury and securities services (TSS), the most senior hire in the region to date for its global corporate bank initiative.

DuCharme surprised colleagues at Deutsche Bank, where he has been Asia-Pacific head of transaction banking for the past five years, when he resigned last week. After the requisite gardening leave, he will join J.P. Morgan in Singapore in the third quarter in the newly created Asia-Pacific TSS leadership role. DuCharme will be in charge of all aspects of the business in the region, including cash management, securities services and trade finance, and will be a key player in the build-out of J.P. Morgan's new global corporate bank. 

"I'm thrilled to welcome Thomas to the team," said Heidi Miller, the New York-based global chief executive of TSS at J.P. Morgan, in a statement. "His hire is an important step for our business as we continue to build and expand the franchise across the region."

DuCharme will report to Miller internationally and within the region to Gaby Abdelnour, the bank's Asia-Pacific CEO.

The global corporate bank is an initiative by J.P. Morgan to become more than a "bankers' bank" and expand its presence among corporates, offering them both investment banking and treasury services. The institution is reportedly investing $100 million in this new business line, which it launched at the beginning of this year.

DuCharme will also sit on J.P. Morgan's Asia-Pacific executive committee along with other TSS executives, including Simon Jones, regional executive of treasury services, and Laurence Bailey, regional chief executive of worldwide securities services. Both Jones and Bailey will also report to him.

Sources say Bailey will retire at the end of this year at which time a new regional worldwide securities services executive will be announced. He has been with the bank for more than a decade.

Colleagues of DuCharme at Deutsche Bank said they were surprised by his departure, which became known internally last week. The bank said it is in the process of finding a replacement for him and will make an announcement in "due course". In the interim, Ng Kim-Cheang, Asia-Pacific chief operating officer of global transaction banking, will take care of the general coordination of the business, while the individual business line heads will be responsible for their respective segments and report globally.

Asia-Pacific transaction banking heads at Deutsche include: John Ball, cash management for financial institutions; James Ho, corporate treasury sales; Sriram Iyer, alternative structured financial services; Mahesh Kini, cash management for corporates; Thibaud de Maintenant, trust and securities services head; and Roger Packham, trade finance.

As Asia head of transaction banking at Deutsche, DuCharme was instrumental in building out the bank's presence in the region. He oversaw the expansion of Islamic fund services into Malaysia this April and the launch of numerous new products and services, including the popular mobile authorisation service.

The appointment of DuCharme is the latest in a series of senior hires by J.P. Morgan for its corporate bank division. Last month, it poached Mark Wuscher from Citi as Asia-Pacific head of corporates in its trade and treasury services business and Pravin Advani is said to be joining from the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) where he was Asia head of trade prior to his resignation in April.

Daniel Cotti, global trade executive at the bank, told FinanceAsia in a recent interview that he would hire 30 new staff for its trade business in Asia by the end of the year.

J.P. Morgan is not alone in its Asian corporate banking ambitions. ANZ, Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BoA Merrill) and DBS have all publicly declared plans to expand their corporate customer bases in the region, especially in treasury services. In August 2009, ANZ acquired select commercial, institutional, retail and wealth assets from RBS as it strives to derive 20% of pre-tax profit from Asia by 2012. And BoA Merrill has made a series of senior hires since the beginning of this year, most notably Ivo Distelbrink as Asia head of global treasury services in February, as it maximises synergies between Bank of America's legacy treasury business and the customers it gained through its 2008 acquisition of Merrill Lynch. DBS, which has long said it wants to become a regional transaction bank (versus simply a Singaporean one), hired Tom McCabe from Standard Chartered Bank as global transaction services head in January to lead its latest growth drive.

J.P. Morgan's Asia-Pacific TSS business covers 17 markets and employs 7,000 staff.

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