JPMorgan investment bank chairman leaves for hedge fund

NEW YORK Tue Jan 8, 2013 8:52am EST

Jes Staley, CEO of JP Morgan Chase Investment Bank, speaks during a panel discussion at the Institute of International Finance (IIF) annual meeting in Washington September 25, 2011. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

Jes Staley, CEO of JP Morgan Chase Investment Bank, speaks during a panel discussion at the Institute of International Finance (IIF) annual meeting in Washington September 25, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Yuri Gripas

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - James "Jes" Staley, chairman of the investment banking unit of JPMorgan Chase, is leaving the company to join hedge fund BlueMountain Capital Management, the fund said on Tuesday.

Staley had been chief executive of JPMorgan's investment bank until July, when JPMorgan (JPM.N) CEO Jamie Dimon reorganized business segments and named two younger executives to be co-chiefs of commercial and investment banking.

Staley had been at JPMorgan for 34 years and had been expected to leave after the management shuffle.

Dimon said at the time that Staley, 56, understood the need to make room for younger executives as part of the company's process of keeping and training potential CEO successors.

Staley was not immediately available for comment on Tuesday.

BlueMountain said Staley will become its ninth managing partner. The firm said it has more than $12 billion in assets under management.

BlueMountain was among a number of hedge funds that made profits by taking the other side of JPMorgan trades in derivatives at the hands of the "London Whale," the market nickname for trader Bruno Iksil.

Later, BlueMountain worked for JPMorgan to help the bank close the positions, according to a person familiar with the matter. The bank ultimately lost $6.2 billion on those trades.

The so-called Whale trades were made through JPMorgan's Chief Investment Office in London, which was a separate business unit from the investment bank.

(Reporting by David Henry in New York; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and John Wallace)

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