Long-time JP Morgan New Zealand chief, Mark Lawrence, is to leave the Wellington-based business, having resigned after about nine years with the firm. As well as heading the JP Morgan NZ bank branch, Lawrence was primarily responsible for the firm’s custody and clearing operations.
JP Morgan has a handful of top-tier custody clients in NZ including the almost NZ$40 billion (A$37 billion) ACC insurance fund and the NZ$4 billion-plus Government Superannuation Fund.
The NZ business also provides backoffice services to some Australian superannuation and investment clients.
As reported in March, JP Morgan is currently recruiting for a new head of fund services as well as another support staff member – mainly to service the Australian and other Asia Pacific clients.
According to a JP Morgan spokesperson, the search process had identified a number of suitable candidates for the roles but has yet to confirm any appointments.
He said the “time-zone benefits” of operating in NZ – which is two hours ahead of Australia – remained attractive to offshore clients. “We’re committed to the NZ business,” the spokesperson said. “The ‘follow the sun’ model is particularly important to custody businesses.”
Prior to joining JP Morgan, Lawrence spent over six years at ANZ – the last 10 months as head of clearing after a more than five-year run as head of custody sales and service.
He served two years as sales and account manager for HSBC in NZ before shifting to ANZ in 2003.
– David Chaplin, Investment News NZ