JPMorgan Chase Hires Risk Head

The bank is among several of its peers to recently change risk management leaders.
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JPMorgan Chase

(JPM) - Get Report

has tapped a former

Goldman Sachs

(GS) - Get Report

to head risk management at the bank.

The New York-based retail banking giant said it has hired Barry Zubrow as its chief risk officer. He will oversee all risk management for JPMorgan Chase, work closely with senior risk managers and business heads around the firm, and advise the senior leadership team on risk strategy and policy, the company said.

Unlike rivals

Citigroup

(C) - Get Report

and

Merrill Lynch

(MER)

, JPMorgan has emerged relatively unscathed by writedowns to asset-backed securities. The company in the third quarter marked down its warehouse for collateralized debt obligations, or CDOs, and unsold positions by $339 million, to $6.8 billion.

Earlier this month, Citi also replaced its head of risk management after saying it may have to write off as much as $11 billion in mortgage-related paper.

Over the past three years, Zubrow had been the president of ITB, a private investment management company. He has also been serving as a senior advisor to New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine, another Goldman alum.

Prior to that, Zubrow was a 25-year veteran of Goldman Sachs, where he held a variety of senior level investment banking, credit and risk positions. Among other positions there, Zubrow held the title of chief credit officer, chief administrative officer and co-chairman of Goldman's risk committee.

Zubrow, who begins his new position on Dec. 1, will report to CEO Jamie Dimon. He will also become a part of JPMorgan Chase's Operating Committee.

The role of chief risk officer -- and chief credit officer -- has been

growing in importance at banks and brokerage firms that have been recently burned by writedowns and mortgage losses.

Citi and

National City

(NCC)

, which also replaced its head of risk management earlier this month, were prominent among companies that have taken a beating this year as the mortgage crisis deepened. Citi's heavy exposure resulted in the ouster of its CEO Chuck Prince earlier this month.

Nat City said its mortgage banking business posted a loss of $152 million. Although the Cleveland-based bank managed to sell its subprime lender, First Franklin, to Merrill Lynch last year before the subprime meltdown, it still holds a significant amount of subprime loans on its balance sheet.

Merrill Lynch, which took $8 billion of writedowns in the third quarter and replaced its former CEO Stan O'Neal with

NYSE Euronext

(NYX)

CEO John Thain, and

Lehman Brothers

(LEH)

have also recently made changes to their heads of risk management.

"What you're going to see now is people that are really well-equipped

from a support and capability standpoint, because everyone is looking at it now," said Carter Burgess, a managing director and head of board recruiting at RSR Partners, an executive search firm in Greenwich, Conn.

JPMorgan Chase's chief risk officer post has been vacant after former CRO Don Wilson retired at the end of 2006. While the company had been looking for a new person to fill the role, Dimon had taken on the head of risk responsibilities.

"This is a critical decision and we wanted to fill it with the best possible candidate," a spokesman said.

Shares of JPMorgan Chase fell 50 cents to $41.45.