Bank One casualties emerge

The first casualties from JP Morgan Chase’s upcoming purchase of Bank One – due to complete on July 5 – emerged last week with the news that both the Chicago-based bank’s foreign exchange heads in London are leaving, according to RiskNews’ sister publication, FX Week .

Stewart Morton, head of forex and interest rate trading, and Andrew Bowen, head of foreign exchange sales, will leave the bank when the merger is completed, said sources close to the bank.

JP Morgan’s spokesperson in London declined to comment last week, but a recruitment consultancy source said both were offered jobs in the new organisation but declined to take them up.

Both Morton and Bowen have been at Bank One for many years. They took on greater responsibility in the bank’s forex business following the departure of then head of foreign exchange, Trevor White two years ago.

The news adds to fears for Bank One forex staff in the takeover by the much larger JP Morgan Chase, which first arose when the merger was announced in January. London had been highlighted as the most vulnerable area within Bank One’s global team, where the size differential between it and JP Morgan Chase, which has based its global forex business there since last August, is at its greatest.

However, David Puth, global head of currencies and commodities at JP Morgan Chase in London, said last week that the integration is going well, with a good combination of people and skill sets. "The client overlap in foreign exchange is minimal, giving us a lot more clients."

The $60 billion deal will create the world’s biggest financial services company after Citigroup.

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