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JPMorgan Chase & Co said to exit global investment unit- source

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December 16
9:47 PM 2013

A source told Bloomberg that JPMorgan Chase & Co is planning to exit its global investment unit in order to streamline operations by cutting down on its non-essential holdings. JPMorgan, which offers investment banking, asset management, treasury and securities services, private banking, commercial banking, card member services and home finance to institutions, business enterprises and individuals, is the biggest bank in the US.

The person familiar with the matter said that in the past few weeks, JPMorgan had started to offer its Global Special Opportunities unit to possible buyers. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the matter is private. The Financial Times reported that private equity firms Blackstone Group, Carlyle Group and KKR & Co were among the potential bidders for the unit. Citing unnamed sources, the Financial Times reported that the business could have a price tag of $1 billion.

The Global Special Opportunities unit run by Chris Nicholas is based in Hong Kong. It has a workforce of 35 people who mostly work in Asia. The unit looks for opportunities in distressed debt, private equity and non-performing loans. Last week, federal regulators had already adopted the Volcker Rule which prevents deposit-taking banks from engaging in proprietary trading and investing.

The New York-based lender also unveiled plans to spin off its private-equity unit, divest most of its physical commodities business and sell its student lending business.

The report quoted what JPMorgan Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon said in an investor conference held last week, "We're doing a lot of what I call pruning. Simplify, pruning. You should do it all the time. Every year, businesses should look at what do I need, what don't I need, how do I serve my clients."

The spokespeople for JPMorgan, Carlyle and KKR did not give any comment on the report when asked by Bloomberg.

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