After five years as the CEO of J.P. Morgan Asset Management, Chris Willcox is preparing to retire from the firm at the end of the year.
While sources outside of the organization say they are watching the $2.1 trillion asset manager's next steps following the unexpected announcement, they are not currently raising red flags over the leadership change, as a 33-year company veteran will become the new chief.
Mr. Willcox, who has been at the company more than 13 years, "decided to take time off and retire from the firm," according to a June 18 internal memo from Mary Callahan Erdoes, CEO of asset and wealth management, which was obtained by Pensions & Investments.
George Gatch, who is currently responsible for the global funds group and institutional client coverage, will replace Mr. Willcox. Mr. Willcox will continue to run the asset management business until the transition of responsibilities to Mr. Gatch at the end of the year, a JPMAM spokeswoman confirmed.
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 include becoming co-heads of the asset management investment committee, according to the memo.
On the investment committee, the duo will report to Ms. Erdoes, who is the committee chairwoman. Within JPMAM's investment organization, however, the pair will report to Mr. Gatch.
Mr. Gatch was not available to comment for this story.
He takes the reins at JPMAM, New York, as assets under management at the firm have grown to nearly $2.1 trillion as of March 31, up 23% from $1.7 trillion as of mid-2014. Mr. Willcox was named CEO in May 2014.