JPMorgan Asset Management sees profit in Q4

TAIPEI (Reuters) - JPMorgan & Chase Co's JPM.N asset management arm expects to be profitable in the fourth quarter, despite worldwide turbulence from the global financial crisis, the unit's chief executive said on Tuesday.

JPMorgan Asset Management, whose headcount is down 44 percent this year amid the world’s worst financial crises in decades, could also consider hiring more people next year if the global situation does not get worse, Chief Executive Jes Staley told Reuters in an interview.

“We have been affected by the financial crisis. But when the markets come back, we have been active in Asia and emerging markets, we are going to be active for our clients and active for the markets,” he said.

“We actually had close to $170 billion of net inflows into the asset management business for the first 10 months of the year, a lot higher than last year, as a lot of people were moving cash to JPMorgan,” said Staley.

His unit, which manages $1.2 trillion in assets, has cut its headcount to about 900 from around 1,600 at the beginning of the year, as global stock markets tumbled on fears of a prolonged global recession and amid a wave of bank failures and government-led bailouts.

JPMorgan Asset Management previously reported net income of about $350 million and a margin of 30 percent in the third quarter, down from about $500 million in the same period of the year before.

The U.S. firm now has half of its total assets outside of the United States, and has increased its investments in Asian countries over the last few years, particularly in South Korea and India.

But China, Taiwan and Hong Kong would remain the company’s core overseas markets.

"The core of our international portfolios continues to be Greater China, where Taiwan plays an important part," said Staley, whose company competes in the global asset management sector with UBS UBSN.VX, Fidelity and BlackRock BLK.N among others.

Additional reporting by Gina Chang; Editing by Doug Young and Ken Wills