CUSTODY

JP Morgan to significantly expand custody team in Dublin

Custody team in Dublin to expand ‘significantly’ as the US bank purchases office space with room for up to 1,000 staff.

By Hayley McDowell hayley.mcdowell@strategic-i.com May 15, 2017 12:56 PM GMT

JP Morgan is set to expand its custody and fund services business in Dublin with the purchase of a new office and plans to significantly increase the team’s headcount.

The custodian will purchase an office space in Dublin which can accommodate more than 1,000 people, following the growth of the team in the Irish capital.

James Kenny, head of investor services at JP Morgan, confirmed the news and explained, “growth plans are driving our real estate plan”.

Kenny said the bank’s impression is that some jobs can be “filled by people moving from other countries” due to Irelands flexible immigration policy.  

“The binding constraint in Ireland isn’t really around the supply of qualified people; it’s around infrastructure — the infrastructure in the city, the supply of housing . . . the capacity in the school system, the domestic transport infrastructure,” he said.

Despite JP Morgan recently confirming it would use Dublin as one of its legal anchors for operations after Brexit, the recent mega-deal with BlackRock is thought to be behind the expansion.

In January, BlackRock shifted $1.3 trillion in assets from State Street to JP Morgan, in one of the largest custody deals ever signed.

Shortly after the news was announced, JP Morgan’s investment banking chief, Daniel Pinto, revealed plans to increase the custody team’s technology spending by almost a third to support the custody team’s expansion.

Pinto, who oversees JP Morgan’s custody business as well as its global markets unit, said the plans to enhance its technology capabilities following its landmark $1.3 trillion custody deal with BlackRock.

A recent study suggested JP Morgan will overtake State Street as the world’s second largest custodian bank this year due to increased custody flows from the BlackRock deal.

State Street reported assets under custody (AUC) of $22.5 trillion in the first quarter of the year, and a growth rate of over 8%. Meanwhile JP Morgan recorded $21.4 trillion of AUC, an increase of around 5.5%.