How JPMorgan Adapted to Selling Remotely

Latin America’s top sales team is taking advantage of virtual meetings to connect with clients all over the world.

Bigstock photo

Bigstock photo

JPMorgan Chase & Co. has defended its crown in Latin America sales.

The global firm was named the No. 1 provider in Institutional Investor’s 2020 Latin America Sales Team, prevailing once again over a number of domestic firms. Managing director Camila Penna credits a global yet local approach for her firm’s continued success in the region.

“Over the years, JPMorgan has maintained a dedicated and experienced Latin America equity research and sales team in key markets around the world — Brazil, Mexico, Chile, U.S., U.K., Hong Kong — supported by an extensive global platform,” she said. “This business model of ‘global house with local expertise’ has enabled us to be relevant to clients by providing high quality, differentiated Latin America product in a global context.”

In another repeat of last year, Brazilian bank BTG Pactual maintained its second place finish — but there is where the consistency ends in 2020’s commission-weighted leaderboard.

Credit Suisse rose two spots to take third, while Santander rocketed from tenth place to No. 4. BofA Securities rounded out the top five this year, after placing eighth in 2019.

The ranking of Latin America’s top generalist sales teams was determined by participants in the II’s broader Latin America Research Team survey, where JPMorgan and BTG Pactual again placed first and second, respectively. In both surveys, responses were weighted by how much the voter spent on sell-side research.

When votes were weighted by respondent assets under management, the top two spots in this year’s Latin America Sales Team still went to JPMorgan and BTG Pactual, in that order. However, Santander and Credit Suisse switched positions, and Morgan Stanley claimed fifth place instead of BofA.

[II Deep Dive: JPMorgan Returns to the Forefront of Latin America Sales]

More than 270 buy-side professionals at more than 200 asset management firms rated Latin American sales teams based on attributes including market knowledge and feel, understanding of client needs, and idea generation.

While these traits were important before the Covid-19 pandemic, they are now paramount as sales teams adapt to support clients and address their biggest concerns during this crisis — all without losing the human touch.

Like many in the workforce, JPMorgan’s Latin America sales team has been working remotely from home since mid-March, according to Penna. “Our client offerings have migrated from in-person to 100 percent virtual, and we have seen an increased appreciation for voice interaction,” she said. This has meant a greater emphasis on picking up the phone versus online chats or emails with clients.

Penna has also observed key changes in investor behavior during the crisis. “JPMorgan’s client consumption has been at record highs as demand for differentiated insight from research, sales, and access product has skyrocketed,” she said. “It is during these challenging times that we want to support our clients, be it through liquidity or high-quality access and advice.”

Collaboration between sales and research has had to evolve amid the remote working environment, and just like with client interactions, technology can take you so far, according to Pena. “We have found that technology and process are important, but effective communication is the most essential part of increasing productivity,” she said.

Still, more information sharing and virtual offerings have led to increased interactions with the research department, Pena said. “It has been nice to organize full virtual roadshows where analysts can meet with clients in Asia, Latin America, U.S. and Europe all in the same day — something that was unheard of a few months back,” she added. “This sort of change, I believe, is here to stay.”