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Author: Michael J. Moore and Bradley Keoun|

14 May 2012 16:36

JPMorgan CIO first casualty of bad trade

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Plus: The office where the loss occurred may be dismissed.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) said Chief Investment Officer Ina Drew will retire after the firm suffered a $2 billion trading loss, marking the downfall of one of the highest-ranking women on Wall Street.

Matt Zames, the 41-year-old head of global fixed income in the investment bank, will succeed Drew as CIO, New York-based JPMorgan said today in a statement. The entire London staff of the bank’s chief investment office, where the loss occurred, is at risk of dismissal, a person familiar with the situation said.

Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon, 56, announced the loss May 10, assailing his firm’s handling of trading in synthetic credit securities as “flawed, complex, poorly reviewed, poorly executed and poorly monitored.” JPMorgan is examining whether anyone in the unit, which employs a few dozen people in London, sought to hide risks, though there isn’t yet evidence that’s the case, the person said.

“It’s good to see there’s accountability as well as responsibility here,” said David Hendler, an analyst at CreditSights Inc. “This person was in charge of this strategy and it appears was not aware, or giving the right signals to top management, of the risks that were building.”

Taking Risks

Drew, 55, was one of two women on the operating committee at JPMorgan, the biggest and most profitable U.S. bank. Her office oversees about $360 billion, the difference between money from deposits and what the bank lends. Dimon had encouraged her unit to boost earnings by buying higher-yielding assets, including structured credit, equities and derivatives, in an expansion of risk-taking led by Achilles Macris, ex-employees said in April.

JPMorgan hired Zames from Credit Suisse First Boston in 2004 to run trading in Treasuries, agencies, and interest-rate swaps and options. His responsibilities increased to include currencies, securitized products and municipal bonds. In 2009, Zames and Daniel Pinto were picked to run fixed income after Jes Staley took over the firm’s investment bank from William Winters and Steven Black. Pinto will become sole head of the business, according to the statement.

Under Zames and Pinto, JPMorgan has become the top bank globally in fixed-income trading. The firm’s 17 percent market share in 2011 was a record for Wall Street, Staley told shareholders earlier this year.

Zames previously worked at hedge fund Long-Term Capital Management LP, which collapsed in 1998.

Topics: JPMorgan Chase, Ina Drew,



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