* Looks to almost triple advisers to 1,000 advisers
* Expansion builds on Bear Stearns acquisition (Adds last two paragraphs on hiring from rivals)
NEW YORK, Oct 27 (Reuters) - JPMorgan Chase & Co JPM.N, the second largest U.S. bank, is looking to add financial advisers, Chief Executive Jamie Dimon told a conference in New York on Tuesday.
The bank is looking to reach a total of about 1,000 advisers, or brokers, Dimon said.
“Our strategy there is to go to 1,000 of the top, top, top,” he said, adding, “So if you’re really, really good, call JPMorgan up and we’ll be happy to hire you.”
Dimon, who previously headed brokerage Smith Barney and whose father and grandfather were brokers, made the comments in response to a question from the audience.
There has been a broad shake-up in the U.S. retail brokerage business in the last year, since Bank of America Corp BAC.N acquired Merrill Lynch & Co's so-called "thundering herd" of brokers, and since Morgan Stanley MS.N and Citigroup Inc'sC.N Smith Barney agreed on a joint venture for their brokerage units.
Even if JPMorgan did more than double the size of its brokerage, it would still be a small unit by comparison with those rivals.
At the end of the third quarter, Bank of America had just under 15,000 brokers and Morgan Stanley Smith Barney had about 18,000. JPMorgan had 365 brokers at the end of the third quarter, up from 323 a year earlier; it had no brokers before buying Bear Stearns in March last year.
In a broad-ranging discussion at the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association annual meeting, Dimon also discussed regulation.
He reiterated his support for a resolution mechanism and systemic risk regulator that could deal with banks and other companies that become “too big to fail.”
When asked about bankers’ compensation -- which has been a hot-button issue since banks including JPMorgan received billions in bailout money from the U.S. government -- Dimon said President Barack Obama’s pay czar Kenneth Feinberg has a tough job.
“All of us need Citibank, Bank of America, all these other companies to be vibrant and healthy,” he said.
JPMorgan repaid $25 billion it received from the U.S. government’s Troubled Asset Relief Program earlier this year but Bank of America and Citigroup -- which each received $45 billion -- still face pay restrictions for their top staffers.
Dimon said Feinberg must walk a fine line to avoid hobbling these banks so that they cannot compete by hiring or retaining staff.
He said New York-based JPMorgan will not actively seek to hire staff away from the banks that are under pay restrictions.
“I, morally, have an issue with people going against those companies that have been hamstrung,” he said. (Reporting by Elinor Comlay; Editing by Steve Orlofsky, Gerald E. McCormick and Leslie Gevirtz)
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