JPMorgan Chase to Fire 3,000 More in Investment Banking

Financial News, August 27, 2001 | Go to article overview

JPMorgan Chase to Fire 3,000 More in Investment Banking


Byline: Janine Brewis

JPMorgan Chase is firing up to 3,000 more staff from its investment banking division in the most severe cutbacks yet in the industry this year. The cuts are in addition to the 3,000 staff laid off since the beginning of the year following the merger between JP Morgan and Chase Manhattan.

Geoff Boisi, co-chief executive of JPMorgan Chase's investment banking division, delivered the news to his staff by leaving them a detailed recorded voicemail message.

Boisi likened the staff cuts to dieting. He said: "The analogy that I think of is a little bit like myself and others who are a little overweight, who need to shed 15% to 20% of our bodyweight by changing our eating habits and physical exercise."

He said people of all levels in the bank would be affected "from senior management to the managing director level to vice-presidents, associates, analysts, as well as support staff".

He also said that he wanted to get through the difficult decisions and communications as quickly as possible. "We have targeted the next 30 to 45 days to accomplish this."

He said the decision came from a rigorous analysis of every aspect of the business over the past few months. The analysis included everything from "client prioritisation to the size of each client's wallet, to the percentage of that wallet we are capturing" - a reference to this year's investment banking buzzword to describe the practice of winning a portion of clients' fees.

Boisi concluded: "The bottom line is that we have too many people working on similar tasks. Our deal teams are too large. We're spending money unnecessarily in almost every category. We need to streamline our production process."

In his message Boisi said that the bank's headcount had already been reduced by several thousand in the areas that were most impacted by the merger and that the hope had been that the economy and markets would stabilise. …

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