JPMorgan Cuts Asset and Wealth-Management Staff

The layoffs come less than a year after the firm made cuts in the same unit.

Peter Foley/Bloomberg

Peter Foley/Bloomberg

Less than a year after laying off 100 people from its asset- and wealth-management unit, JPMorgan Chase is culling staff once again, a person familiar with the matter said Thursday.

The reductions are across the firm’s asset and wealth management support functions, and in the wealth management business, the person said.

“It is routine for us to review our staffing annually to ensure appropriate levels and adjust as necessary,” JPMorgan Chase spokesperson Kristen Chambers said via email on Thursday.

Traditional asset managers have been struggling lately: Casey Quirk data show that while assets under management at global public asset management firms increased by an average of 6.9 percent per year from 2016 through 2018, their margins shrunk by 5.2 per year on average. The firm blamed fee pressure for declining margins.

It’s unclear at present how many people will be affected by the JPMorgan Chase layoffs, but Bloomberg reported that the cuts were in the “hundreds.” Chambers declined to comment on that number.

Chambers said via email that the firm is continuing to invest in its business and talent by hiring “top advisors in key markets.”

In August, JPMorgan Chase cut not only asset management staff, but also reduced its fixed income, administration, and sales groups.

[II Deep Dive: JPMorgan Lays Off 100 From Asset Management Division]

But the firm is not alone in laying off staff. BlackRock cut its staff by three percent, or roughly 500 employees, in January as a result of growing market uncertainty and evolving investor preferences, it said at the time.

State Street Corp., the Boston-based asset management giant, dismissed roughly 1,500 from its staff in January as a result of tough market conditions.

During the same month, quantitative investment firm AQR also made some staff cuts, a spokesperson told Institutional Investor at the time. The news came after a year of poor performance.