JPMorgan Chase Bulks Up Muni Operations

By McGee, Patrick | American Banker, June 8, 2010 | Go to article overview

JPMorgan Chase Bulks Up Muni Operations


McGee, Patrick, American Banker


Byline: Patrick McGee

JPMorgan Chase & Co., consistently one of the top municipal bond underwriters, has been responding to increased appetite in the market recently by expanding its retail networks, marketing taxable municipal bonds for international distribution and bulking up its public finance staff.

The firm has ranked third among muni underwriters in the country over the past five years. From January through May, JPMorgan Chase senior-managed 158 issues worth $20.8 billion, ranking it third with a 12.3% market share, compared with an 11.4% share for all of last year, according to Thomson Reuters.

Known historically for its institutional distribution, the firm began beefing up its municipal retail network through an agreement with UBS Wealth Management in August 2008.

In January, the two-year agreement that gave UBS access to new-issue supply and JPMorgan Chase access to UBS' nationwide retail sales force was extended to 2013.

And in April, JPMorgan Chase also teamed up with Charles Schwab, whose clients now have access to JPMorgan Chase's new-issue and secondary munis, plus other fixed-income products.

"We pursued retail distribution partners whose platforms were complementary to ours," said Paul Palmeri, head of public finance sales and trading at JPMorgan Chase.

"Leveraging Charles Schwab's and UBS' retail distribution capabilities through JPMorgan gives issuers access to an enormous retail network that very few can rival."

With the agreements, the firm can reach nearly 18,000 advisers, including 8,200 brokers through UBS and 6,000 registered investment advisers through Charles Schwab. …

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