JP Morgan hires new EMEA prime broker head

LONDON Mon Nov 5, 2012 10:35am EST

LONDON Nov 5 (Reuters) - JP Morgan has poached David Clarkson from rival Credit Suisse to head its prime brokerage business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Clarkson's appointment comes after Teresa Heitsenrether, who launched JP Morgan's European prime brokerage business in 2011, left London to move to New York as global head this year.

JP Morgan is one of several banks trying to expand into prime broking - providing hedge funds with services such as financing, stock lending and clearing of trades.

The financial crisis has encouraged many funds to widen their prime brokerage relationships across multiple banks in an industry previously dominated by Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley.

JP Morgan became a big player in the sector in the U.S. when it acquired failed bank Bear Stearns in 2008.

Global hedge fund assets under management slumped as the financial crisis took hold but have since recovered and are now back above $2 trillion. As a result, prime broking has not come under the same pressures as other investment banking areas in the past few years.

However, increased capital requirements, new regulations and reduced demand from hedge fund clients wanting to juice up bets with borrowed cash - a big earner for banks - is still holding back revenues.

Clarkson, who will report to Heitsenrether, was most recently chief of staff in prime services at Credit Suisse, JP Morgan said in a statement announcing his appointment.

He has also worked at Deutsche Bank as European head of equity swaps and started his career as a chartered accountant with Arthur Andersen.

JP Morgan ranks behind Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse as the biggest supplier of prime brokerage services, according to the inaugural global survey by data group Hedge Fund Intelligence. Morgan Stanley lies fourth.