JPMorgan European Prime Brokerage Debuts

Jun 22 2011 | 9:33am ET

JPMorgan Chase has opened a full-service prime brokerage business in Europe—and is now eyeing Asia for its next big move.

The New York-based firm launched the business today, after establishing a separate legal entity in the U.K., necessary for it to offer a full range of prime services, the Financial Times reports. JPMorgan has also hired about a dozen senior employees for the business over the past year.

“We realize how critical this service is for the hedge fund community,” Sandie O’Conner, global head of prime services, told the FT.

JPMorgan entered the prime brokerage industry in earnest three years ago when it purchased Bear Stearns’ platform, which was focused on the U.S. Jes Staley, who heads JPMorgan’s investment bank, said that the firm has not stopped investing in the prime brokerage since it was acquired in 2008.

The firm still plans to expand its prime brokerage services to Asia, possibly later this year, according to the FT.

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