J.P. Morgan is cutting costs. In February, the bank announced plans to trim $1bn from its expenses and 4,000 people from its headcount globally (albeit mostly in the U.S). Cost cutting does not apply to the bank's European prime broking business, however. The European prime broking business at J.P. Morgan is in expansion mode.
In November last year J.P. Morgan hired David Clarkson from Credit Suisse to lead its EMEA prime brokerage business. Clarkson, a Brunel University graduate, had spent over a decade at Credit Suisse and was a key architect of the Swiss bank's prime broking platform.
Now J.P. Morgan has repeated the same feat and successfully dislodged a Goldman Sachs lifer for its European prime broking operation too. The UK's Financial Conduct Authority Register shows that the U.S bank hired John Delaney from Goldman Sachs in late July. Delaney spent around 20 years at Goldman, latterly as an executive director.
J.P. Morgan was unable to respond to an immediate request for comment on Delaney's arrival. However, we understand that he's joining as an executive director in the prime brokerage consulting business. Prime brokerage consulting is a niche business which advises hedge funds on everything from regulation to tax affairs. It's also a big growth area as a result of growing government intervention in the hedge fund sector.
More big hires into J.P. Morgan's European prime broking business are likely as Clarkson gets into his stride and cherry picks other top names from rivals. J.P. Morgan moved into prime broking in 2011 and is moving to seize market share from incumbents like Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley.
Last year, Teresa Heitsenrether, global head of prime brokerage at J.P. Morgan, told the Financial Times the bank was aiming to grow its European client roster from 30 to 60 and was targeting the first or second position in the European market. As client numbers grow, staffing requirements will increase. Long-serving prime brokerage professionals who've spent decades with their current firm know where to send their CVs.