Summit News

JPMorgan, Gates foundation form partnership

Catherine Keating, CEO of J.P. Morgan's U.S. Private Bank, speaks at the Reuters Global Wealth Management Summit in Boston, Massachusetts October 5, 2009. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

BOSTON (Reuters) - The financial crisis has squeezed even the richest Americans, but interest in philanthropy remains high, said Catherine Keating, chief executive of JPMorgan Chase & Co's JPM.N U.S. Private Bank

Last week the unit, which caters to ultra-rich families, hosted a meeting in New York for 50 private banking clients and members of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The philanthropic group, formed by Microsoft Corp founder and billionaire Bill Gates, is the world’s largest foundation according to Foundation

“They wanted to learn about what the Gates Foundation is doing around health care. They wanted to see if there are ways we can work together,” said Keating, speaking at the Reuters Wealth Management Summit in Boston.

JPMorgan’s private bankers advise investors with $25 million or more in assets on everything from where to put their money to managing their estates. The unit also connects clients that share certain interests in business and charitable pursuits, she said.

“Most of our clients would say they feel the need for their philanthropy has never been greater, whether in health care or education or poverty,” said Keating, who helps run one of the world’s largest private banks.

A second meeting next year will address the foundation’s efforts on improving education around the world.

(For summit blog:

Reporting by Joseph Giannone; Editing Bernard Orr