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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

George Gatch Takes the Hot Seat

Reported by Armie Margaret Lee

George Gatch, CEO of JPMorgan Asset Management's investment management unit in the Americas, on Tuesday talked to fundsters about about JPMorgan's success with net flows and how the firm trains and manages its sales force, among other topics. Gatch was the luncheon speaker at the second annual MFWire Influencers Summit at the Ritz Carlton in Boston.

Sitting down for a Q&A with conference chairman Neil Bathon of Fuse Research Network, the recently promoted Gatch talked about the structure of JPMorgan's sales team. JPMorgan has 100 client advisors.

"We try not to use the term 'wholesaler,'" he said. The sales team is organized by market segments including national broker-dealers, independents and RIAs.

Gatch also discussed how JPMorgan trains and manages its sales force. New hires undergo three-week bootcamps. Members of the sales team are also required to undergo two-hour mock meetings that are videotaped. JPMorgan has also introduced one-hour conference calls every Monday morning at 8 a.m.

Asked where he attributes JPMorgan's feat of having at least five years of positive net flows into its mutual funds, Gatch said that when JPMorgan merged with Bank One, "we took a long-term project restructuring our product line."

"We launched over the last five years 60 funds. Today, we have fewer funds than when we started the process," he said. 

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