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JPMorgan Asset Management CEO to Retire

George Gatch will succeed Chris Willcox as head of the bank’s asset management business.

George Gatch, a 33-year veteran of JPMorgan Chase & Co., is taking over the leadership of JPMorgan Asset Management.

The former head of global funds and institutional client coverage succeeds Chris Willcox, who is retiring as CEO of the asset management unit, according to an internal memo from Mary Erdoes, CEO of asset and wealth management.

Willcox, who will remain with the firm through the end of the year, has been with JPMorgan for 13 years, including serving as head of global rates in the corporate and investment bank and working as head of global fixed income and liquidity in the asset management unit. According to the memo, Willcox “decided to take time off and retire from the firm.” 

Gatch, who will report to Erdoes, previously ran global funds management. Erodes lauded him for launching and doubling the market share of the firm’s U.S. mutual funds over the last decade.

Gatch has additionally led JPMorgan Asset Management’s efforts in Japan, where JPMorgan had a mutual fund joint venture with Dai-Ichi Kangyo Bank. Gatch also built the firm’s subadvisory and institutional mutual funds business. 

[II Deep Dive: JPMorgan Cuts Asset and Wealth-Management Staff]

In the memo, Erdoes also announced that Paul Quinsee, global head of equities, and Bob Michele, global head of fixed income, currency and commodities, will become co-heads of the asset management investment committee in addition to their current roles. As co-heads, Quinsee and Michele will oversee reviews of new and existing products. 

Erdoes also noted Willcox’s role in the firm’s Simplify for Growth initiative, which is focused on reducing complexity in the asset management business. During JPMorgan’s Investor Day in February, Erdoes said simplifying for growth “is something lots of our competitors in the asset management business talk about. It is really hard to do.” 

As a result of the program, JPMorgan has launched 125 new funds. But at the same time, it shut down or merged 229 funds, Erdoes said during the investor day.

“They were out-of-favor, they are underperforming and they are not coming back, and that's the judgment of our investment committee, or they just lost their edge,” she said.

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