NEW YORK Nov 7 Francis Dunleavy, who ran the
JPMorgan Chase & Co energy desk in Houston that was
accused of manipulating the U.S. power market earlier this year,
has retired from the bank after a career of more than 30 years,
a spokesman said.
Dunleavy, who headed up a division known as Principal
Commodity Investment that used the bank's own capital to invest
in energy-related assets, ran the business for six years after
25 years at Bear Stearns. He left on Oct. 17, the JPMorgan
His departure comes at a tumultuous time for the bank's
commodity team, which months ago agreed to pay $410 million to
settle allegations that it manipulated power markets in
California and the Midwest between 2010 and 2012.
The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
(FERC)identified Dunleavy and two members of his team, Andrew
Kittell and John Bartholomew, as instigating the alleged
strategy, but it did not seek to fine them or press charges.
Their lawyers have said they did nothing that broke the law.
Dunleavy, 57, could not be reached for comment. A former
colleague said he had been planning to retire for some time. The
person did not want to be named because the person was not
authorized to speak to the press.
The FERC deal came just days after JPMorgan announced plans
to sell or spin off its physical commodity trading desk amid
unprecedented regulatory and political scrutiny of U.S. banks'
involvement in physical commodity trading - and a crackdown on
the ownership of assets.
Other banks are also seeing senior-level departures, with
two of Goldman Sachs Inc's top commodity executives
having left the bank in recent weeks.
Dunleavy's career spanned more than three decades after he
joined Bear Stearns in 1982 and became partner in 1985.
He was considered instrumental in building out the bank's
energy business into a 220-person power and natural gas trading
desk in Houston before JPMorgan acquired the bank in 2008.
Buying Bear Stearns helped transform JPMorgan into the
biggest oil, power, gas and metals trader on Wall Street as big
financial institutions expanded into lucrative physical
commodity trading. But JPMorgan, as a regulated bank holding
company, was never allowed to own power plants and other
commodity assets in the way that Bear Stearns had.
Tighter regulation, high costs and lower price volatility
have forced some U.S. banks to curb their activities in the
On leaving last month, Dunleavy handed over the reins of the
Principal Commodity Investment unit to John Anderson, who is
also head of JPMorgan's power and gas trading, the JPMorgan
spokesman said. Anderson had been running the Houston desk
jointly with Dunleavy since last year, he said.
His departure was first reported by website SparkSpread.
(Reporting by Josephine Mason; Additional reporting by Anna
Louie Sussman; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)