JP Morgan’s most senior banker in Asia-Pacific, Gaby Abdelnour, will quit this summer to pursue personal interests, according to a memo obtained by Reuters.
The exit of Abdelnour, a Lebanese, had been expected. Colleagues do not expect him to join a rival investment bank, according to a source familiar with the matter who did not wish to be named.
A JP Morgan spokeswoman confirmed the contents of the memo.
The memo, signed by the bank’s chief executive Jamie Dimon and investment bank head Jes Staley, did not name an immediate replacement for Abdelnour, its chairman and chief executive in Asia.
Abdelnour has headed the bank’s Asia operations since July 2006. In that time its Asia revenue has doubled and net earnings tripled, the memo said.
A major focus of Abdelnour’s energy in the last few years has been China, where the firm lagged rivals such as Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank in securing a securities joint venture licence until it started operations at First Capital Securities in June 2011.
It has since added a stake in a guarantee company in China, to be formed alongside Export-Import Bank of China, Baosteel, Siemens and other local investors. JP Morgan will take a 24.9% stake, according to a source familiar with the matter.
JP Morgan has also taken a 19.9% stake in a trust company, Henan Based Bridge Trust co, pending regulatory approval.
Abdelnour joined JP Morgan in 1998 having worked at Merrill Lynch in Hong Kong and Singapore, and before that at Bankers Trust.
Before taking the role of Asia chairman and CEO he headed JP Morgan’s activities in corporate origination for EMEA, and managed the Central & Eastern Europe, Middle East and North Africa franchise.