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Saturday, April 7, 2012

JPM Latest Big Bank to Shakeup Asian Leadership

J.P. Morgan's Asia CEO Gaby Abdelnour has announced he is leaving the bank this summer after 14 years. Abdelnour has been head of Asia for JPM for the past six years. Under his leadership, the bank's Asia unit has tripled net earnings. This move comes after Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, and Bank of America have all made changes to the top of their leadership in Asia. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Abdelnour discussed his long term approach to joint ventures in China, the gap between China's economic development and its political development, and the future of investment banking bonuses. "You cannot represent Asia through soundbites," he says when explaining the nuances of doing business in Asia, where his unit has operations in 15 countries and must understand up to nine different cultures. More quotes from the interview:

On China:
"If there is one thing I'm impressed by, its how the Chinese manage its country and its economy."

On investment banking bonuses:
"There is no unit that can reinvent itself better than the investment banking industry."

Video: WSJ Video: Gaby Abdelnour

2012 Asia Leadership Changes:
Michael Cho, co-head of Bank of America's Asia M&A team since 2009, was laid off in January 2012. Also in January, Goldman Sachs named James Paradise and Eiji Ueda co-heads of the firm’s securities division in Asia. Paradise and Ueda will move to the banks office in Hong Kong. This position had been filled Yusuf  Alireza, who recently left the bank after 19 years. Deutsche Bank announced in March that Gunit Chadha  and Alan Cloete will be co-CEO's of their Asia Pacific unit. Chadha will begin in Mumbai but ultimately move to Singapore and Cloete will sit in the banks Hong Kong office. These moves come as American banks have been rapidly expanding their Asian operations in recent years.

Further Reading:
BoA M&A co-head leaves Bank [WSJ]
New co-CEOs of Deutsche Bank Asia Pacific [The Hindu]
J.P. Morgan's Asia head quits [FT]
GS Appoints Paradise, Ueda to Run Securities in Asia [Bloomberg]

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