Magazine article American Banker

JP Morgan Picks Warner, Its President, as Next CEO

Magazine article American Banker

JP Morgan Picks Warner, Its President, as Next CEO

Article excerpt

In a move that generated few surprises and reassured market observers, J.P. Morgan & Co. named Douglas A. Warner 3d to replace Dennis Weatherstone as chairman and chief executive on Jan. 1.

Mr. Warner, 48, will become Morgan's youngest chairman ever.

Analysts and senior Morgan executives said Mr. Warner will probably maintain the emphasis on capital markets put in place 10 years ago. They also predicted that he will move to consolidate businesses developed over the last decade and tighten management controls.

"He has a reputation for being a tough manager, and a big bank like Morgan needs a tough manager," remarked Raphael Soifer, a banking analyst with Brown Brothers Harriman in New York.

Since the early '80s, Morgan, the nation's fourth-largest bank with $128 billion in assets, has swung sharply away from traditional corporate finance and lending and toward underwriting, distributing, and trading securities.

Analysts and executives noted that Mr. Warner has focused on administration and management over the past five years. They said that although he knows Morgan inside out, his skills as a marketer are yet to be determined.

"For the past five years Sandy Warner and I have worked together on every aspect of Morgan's business," Mr. Weatherstone said in a statement Thursday. "Sandy is a strong leader who knows what it takes to excel in global finance and meet the changing needs of clients around the world."

Morgan also said that Michael E. Patterson, executive vice president, general counsel, and son of former Morgan chairman Elmor Patterson, has been named to the new post of chief administrative officer. He will be succeeded as general counsel by Edward J. Kelly 3d, a partner in the law firm of Davis Polk & Wardwell.

Morgan executives and analysts predicted that the bank's three current vice chairmen, Kurt Viermetz, Rodney Wagner, and Roberto Mendoza will remain in their current positions. …

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