The Private Bankers Are Starting Logistics

(Editor’s Note: I will be posting seemingly unrelated articles for the information and names contained therein for reference in the ‘noose’ articles.  Take notes if you wish.  Emphasis is mine.)

I have been waiting to see the logistics of the global banking bureaucracy beginning to take shape.  The world’s central banks cover governments; private banks cover private international elites.  Please keep in mind that Jamie Dimon is on the board of directors of the New York Federal Reserve, and assisted with the loan to take over Bear Stearns, and was part of the Washington Mutual deal.  Mr. Dimon has also had almost unfettered access to Timothy Geithner, and until recently, Barack Obama has had nothing but praise for Mr. Dimon.

JPMorgan Sets Sights Overseas

JPMorgan Chase emerged from the financial crisis as one of the strongest banks on American soil. Now it wants to make up lost ground overseas.

The bank’s chief executive, Jamie Dimon, announced a series of management changes toward that end on Tuesday, appointing one of his closest lieutenants to a new position with a mandate to start a global corporate banking business and scout out opportunities in Europe, Latin America and Asia.

The executive, Heidi G. Miller, was named president of the bank’s international operations and chairwoman of a new global advisory committee made up of about a dozen senior bankers and regional business heads. The new role should further cement Ms. Miller’s standing as one of the most powerful women on Wall Street.

At the same time, Mr. Dimon has made expanding overseas a priority. JPMorgan Chase gets about a quarter of its revenue from international operations and has few retail branches outside the United States. Even its global investment banking and treasury services businesses focus mainly on Western Europe.

Other big banks, like HSBC and Standard Chartered, have much stronger toeholds in emerging markets. Citigroup, where Mr. Dimon and Ms. Miller rose through the ranks together, derives nearly 60 percent of its revenue from overseas and has had retail operations in China and India for decades.

With growth trends tilting toward the emerging markets and the prospect of tighter regulation from Washington, Mr. Dimon sees untapped opportunity. Analysts project that the growth rate of banking will be two to three times faster in emerging markets than the United States.

“We have got to invest locally, look at clients globally and look at new markets,” he said in the interview. “We are going to get the whole company behind it.”

Mr. Dimon, who spent the last two weeks hopscotching across China, India and Russia, had been laying the groundwork for international expansion for some time. A few years ago, he assigned two top lieutenants to scout out potential consumer banking opportunities overseas. He created a network of global advisers, including Tony Blair, the former British prime minister, and established a partnership with a buyout firm started by several former Citigroup colleagues to hunt for overseas acquisitions. (emphasis mine)

Mr. Dimon has already made a handful of deals to add to the bank’s international portfolio. Earlier this year, it bought a commodities trading unit from the Royal Bank of Scotland. It plans to buy Gávea Investments, a Brazilian asset management firm. And last week, it announced an investment banking joint venture with First Capital Securities of China.

But the centerpiece of his immediate strategy is to create a global corporate bank that can serve multinational clients. Mr. Dimon said he hoped to assign global corporate banking responsibilities to employees in the investment banking and treasury services units, with Ms. Miller in charge of forging cooperation among business lines and regions.

“If she comes up with a great plan, we will put a lot of money behind that,” Mr. Dimon said.

The global bank has a loose structure for its 400 employees, with spaghettilike reporting lines that some senior executives privately say could pose significant challenges. Mr. Dimon says he worries about that, too, but has concluded that having an overarching head of international operations would lead to more accountability. “The intent of this is to get less bureaucracy,” he said.

The new role for Ms. Miller, who has a doctorate in Latin American studies, puts her in charge of a far smaller business than the treasury services unit, but one that could influence the bank’s long-term prospects.

A longtime member of Mr. Dimon’s inner circle since she served as chief financial officer of Citigroup while he was president, Ms. Miller joined him again to help turn around Bank One, which would later merge with JPMorgan. (She had an eight-month stint as Priceline.com’s financial chief during the height of the dot-com boom in 2000.)

So the next two questions would be, who are Heidi Miller and Brian Moynihan, and what exactly can they do to further the agenda of the private international elites?

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