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Monday, December 06, 2010

How JPMorgan Made Advisors Aware of its Mutual Funds

News summary by MFWire's editors

Years ago, many advisors didn't know that JPMorgan's mutual fund business existed. That problem, and how George Gatch addressed it, is documented in a Wall Street Journal story on Monday that's part of the paper's Investing in Funds report.

So what did Gatch do? He "stepped up efforts to develop closer ties with brokers and advisers and to draw attention from fund analysts, such as those at Morningstar," according to the article penned by Michael Pollock.

In addition, JPMorgan enlisted David Kelly, formerly senior economic advisor at Putnam, as chief market strategist in 2008 after detecting advisor demand for investment research and ideas. As many as 5,000 viewers now tune into Kelly's weekly webcasts.

The WSJ article also provided a window into Gatch's thinking on M&A. "Although the financial crisis has battered many fund providers and could spur industry consolidation, J.P. Morgan's strong inflows make mergers with other fund firms unnecessary, says Mr. Gatch," the article stated.

This does not mean, though, that JPMorgan is ignoring deal opportunities. JPMorgan's hedge-fund unit, Highbridge Capital, recently acquired a majority stake in Gavea Investimentos.

Highbridge and Gavea employ "investment techniques that we think have application into the next set of product-development issues we will be looking at in the mutual-fund marketplace," Gatch told the WSJ.  

Edited by: Armie Margaret Lee

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