Prime Brokerage Gives JPMorgan A Boost

Oct 16 2008 | 2:38am ET

JPMorgan Chase has responded to the Wall Street disaster by billing itself as one of the largest and most stable banks in the country. So far, it seems, that promise is resonating with hedge fund managers.

The New York firm has seen its prime brokerage assets rise by about a quarter over the last few months, CEO Jamie Dimon told reporters, helping almost triple the firm’s investment-banking profit.

Dimon credited the increase both to returning Bear Stearns prime brokerage customers—JPMorgan purchased the collapsed bank this summer—and to other hedge funds fleeing Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers and Morgan Stanley as the investment banking industry went into a tailspin.

Dimon said his firm expected its prime brokerage fees to reach $600 million to $750 million by next year, although he declined to disclose the unit’s assets.

Bear Stearns’ prime brokerage, which saw as much as 40% of client assets disappear prior to its collapse, took in $1.2 billion in revenue last year.

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