Chris Willcox, CEO of J.P. Morgan Asset Management, is retiring from the firm at the end of the year after more than 13 years at the firm, according to an internal memo from Mary Erdoes, CEO of asset and wealth management, obtained by Pensions & Investments. His impending departure has prompted several leadership changes at the asset manager.
George Gatch, who is currently responsible for the global funds group and institutional client coverage, will become CEO of asset management, reporting to Ms. Erdoes.
A company spokeswoman confirmed Tuesday evening that Mr. Willcox would continue to run the business until the transition of responsibilities to Mr. Gatch at the end of the year.
Mr. Willcox “has decided to take time off and retire from the firm,” the Tuesday memo said of his departure.
“In his most recent role leading (asset management), he helped us deliver strong results and put the business in great shape for future growth,” Ms. Erdoes wrote in the memo. “I’ve been particularly impressed with his visionary, strategic mindset and the transformational initiatives he’s accomplished. Central to that vision is the Simplify for Growth initiative that Chris and the (asset management) operating committee launched, focusing on reducing complexity in (asset management) to maintain our excellence in core competencies and invest in areas that will drive long-term growth and help us serve clients better. As well, Chris has long been an active advocate of the firm’s diversity efforts, including serving as the executive sponsor of the Asset & Wealth Management Black Leadership Forum.”
Mr. Gatch, who has been at the firm 33 years, has held a number of leadership roles, having launched and doubled the market share of the global funds business’ U.S. mutual fund complex during his tenure as head of the group over the past decade, Ms. Erdoes noted.
Additionally, Paul Quinsee, global head of equities, and Bob Michele, global head of the fixed income, currency and commodities group, will expand their roles to become co-heads of the asset management investment committee. In their new roles, Messrs. Quinsee and Michele will lead investment committee reviews across J.P. Morgan Asset Management’s global suite of new and existing product offerings, the memo states.
On the investment committee, the duo will report to Ms. Erdoes, who is chair of the AMIC, the internal memo stated. Within JPMAM’s investment organization, however, the pair will report to Mr. Gatch.
“To ensure a smooth transition, Paul and Bob will partner with Larry Unrein, whom we thank for his prior leadership of the AMIC,” Mr. Erdoes added.
Mr. Unrein is a portfolio manager and global head of private equity, according to JPMAM’s website.
Mr. Willcox was named CEO of J.P. Morgan Asset Management in May 2014 when the unit reorganized its investment management team, P&I reported. At that time, Ms. Erdoes decided to step back from directly overseeing JPMAM’s investment management operations and created the new position of global investment management CEO, appointing Mr. Willcox, who was then JPMAM’s head of global fixed income, to the role.
J.P. Morgan Asset Management had $2.096 trillion in assets under management as of March 31.