Hire Wire Apr 13 2012

J.P. Morgan Adds Retail Staff, Drops I-Bank Employees

By julie steinberg

J.P. Morgan's consumer businesses added staff in the first quarter while the investment bank lost 292 staff and saw an 11% revenue drop.

Overall, headcount rose half a percent to 261,453 employees at the end of March of this year from the end of December. That figure is up 8% from the year earlier period.

Employment in retail financial services increased 1% to 134,321 from the fourth quarter of 2011, and card services added slightly fewer than 300 people in the first quarter for a total of 27,862. Commercial banking added about 100 people, bringing total staff in that division to 5,612 employees.

On a conference call with analysts, Chief Executive Jamie Dimon said the bank believes "there is value" in the expansion of the branch network, and that they're simply "adjusting the branch build." Last year, J.P. Morgan said it would modify its branch expansion strategy and concentrate on a few key states like California and Florida.

The bank added 33 branches in the first quarter, a 1% increase to 5,541.

The investment bank, which plans to cut 1,000 jobs this year, set aside $2.9 billion in the first quarter to pay employees, down 12% from the year earlier period. On average, employees will take home $112,849 for the first three months of the year, down from $124,330 per person in the first three months of 2011. Nearly 300 people left or were laid off in the investment bank in the first quarter.

In asset management, 200 people left or were dismissed.

Overall, the bank exceeded analysts' earnings estimates. The bank had net earnings of $1.31 a share for the first quarter, up from $1.28 in the year earlier period. Analysts had expected $1.13 a share. Revenue rose six percent to $26.7 billion.

Write to Julie.Steinberg at Julie.Steinberg@dowjones.com

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