Viswas Raghavan, the head of banking for JPMorgan in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, has been handed control of the Wall Street bank in the region.
The promotion gives Raghavan oversight of JPMorgan’s wider business lines — including its investment arm JPMorgan Asset Management — at a crucial time, with sweeping new EU regulations under Mifid II and the ongoing uncertainty around Brexit at the top of the agenda.
JPMorgan, like its rivals, is in the midst of contingency planning for life after Brexit. The bank has already identified Frankfurt, Luxembourg and Dublin as EU cities to which it could relocate staff as a result of the UK’s decision to leave the EU.
Raghavan told Financial News he expected to be working in London in 2019 — the year in which the UK officially exits the bloc — but added he was “prepared to be anywhere”. “I’m pretty flexible,” he said.
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Raghavan has long been one of JPMorgan’s top bankers in Europe, having joined in 2000 from Lehman Brothers in a senior capital markets role. He rose swiftly through its ranks and was made head of its traditional investment banking operations in Emea in 2011.
The London-based dealmaker, who has regularly appeared on Financial News’s list of the 100 most influential people in European financial services, has also served as deputy CEO in the region for the last two years.
His promotion was announced in a memo to staff sent by Daniel Pinto, global head of JPMorgan’s corporate and investment bank, and Mary Erdoes, the head of JPMorgan Asset Management.
Raghavan will keep his responsibilities as head of banking in Emea.
On his watch, JPMorgan ended rival Deutsche Bank’s stranglehold at the top of Europe’s investment banking revenue rankings. The US bank has finished the last three years as the top fee earner in Emea, according to Dealogic, the data provider that tracks revenues earned from M&A advice, capital markets underwriting and lending.
According to Dealogic, the total revenues generated by banks from these business lines has been shrinking every year since 2014. Raghavan noted that investment banks were earning less, which he said made taking a bigger share of the available fees a priority. He said: “You really have to look at market share and where you are in that pecking order to drive revenue growth.”
JPMorgan extended its share of available fees in 2016 by more than one percentage point. The bank tops this year’s rankings for European investment banking revenues at the nine-month stage.
In January, Raghavan told FN: “This is an extremely competitive banking market. Every one of the top players is absolutely focused and has fantastic teams. It’s dangerous if we get complacent, and continuing to serve clients in the best possible way through all market conditions is our biggest focus.”
In early 2016, Raghavan oversaw a raft of promotions at JPMorgan’s European investment bank that included new roles for senior bankers including Laurence Hollingworth, Conor Hillery and Harry Hampson.