JPMorgan tops fee pool, equity business takes hit

By @ibtimes on

JPMorgan took a hit in its equity capital markets business in 2010 even though its dominance in debt markets allowed it to cling on to the global top spot for investment banking fees.

JPMorgan, whose investment bank has been run by Jes Staley since last year, withstood the poorest period for advisory income in Europe for eight years to maintain a slim lead on its rivals, Thomson Reuters data showed on Wednesday.

But its investment banking income in Europe almost halved compared to last year as the debt crisis stunted issuance and hit profits at most banks, according to the data which was co-produced with research firm Freeman Consulting.

The fee erosion at JPMorgan was particularly apparent in equity capital markets (ECM) in Europe. The bank was down by more than $500 million in equity fees compared with last year, dropping to second place behind Goldman Sachs .

JPMorgan also slipped down the ECM fee rankings in Asia, 2010's biggest income battleground after a rush of first time listings there helped global initial public offerings (IPOS) double globally compared to last year.

The bank dropped from second to fourth place, overtaken by Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley as Switzerland's UBS held on to the top spot.

JPMorgan missed out on the lion's share of the commission on some of the biggest Asian IPOs this year, featuring as one of the lower-ranking banks handling deals such as AIA Group's listing.

The bank relinquished the top ECM fee spot on a global basis to Morgan Stanley , which managed to increase its market share in Asia this year.

But JPMorgan once again pocketed the biggest share of global debt capital markets (DCM) fees, even as bond issuance by companies, sovereigns and other borrowers also fell 6 percent worldwide compared to 2009.

In a shrinking market, JPMorgan gained on its rivals, raking in $1.582bn in global DCM fees -- marginally more than it made during a record 2009 for most banks.

This helped JPMorgan clinch the top spot in the worldwide investment banking fee rankings, with overall fees brought in by all banks actually growing to their highest level since 2007, the data showed.

The overall growth came despite a tough year in Europe, where billions of dollars worth of initial public offerings (IPOs) being pulled or postponed.

Debt issuance in euros so far this year fell by 23 percent compared to the corresponding period in 2009, a drop mirrored by the investment banking fees up for grabs dwindling to $13.5 billion, marking an eight year low.

JPMorgan's fee income in Europe almost halved compared to 2009, coming in at $994 million, less than $100 million higher than what closest rival Deutsche Bank pocketed. Last year, JPMorgan took home $1.72bn in European investment banking fees. (Additional reporting by Kylie MacLellan; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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