Company Profiles

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Oliver Gregson, New Head Of JP Morgan's UK, Nordics Private Bank

Tom Burroughes, Group Editor, London, 20 February 2017

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The head of the private bank for the UK and Nordics talks to this publication about his aspirations in the role.

The newly-appointed head of JP Morgan’s private banking operations for the UK and Nordics markets thinks the blue-blooded bank can win more clients and build a bigger business by focusing on the client and being more vocal about its capabilities, as well as seizing opportunities in other areas.

Oliver Gregson, whose appointment was exclusively revealed by this news service last September, and officially announced this week, aims to build a bank that is the best and most respected private bank in the UK, serving clients and communities and enabling them to compete even more effectively in the other regions where it is present.

“The biggest surprise I have had since starting [at the start of January] is that some of the jewels in the crown of this firm aren’t fully understood by clients, advisors or the wider market,” Gregson told WealthBriefing. 

“My aspirations are to have the best all-round team, delivering a ‘first class’ client experience that enables us to become number one in our target markets,” he said. “It is definitely a growth agenda, that’s for sure." 

He said that given the length of the current economic cycle and bull market there is a need to be flexible going forward. He believes JP Morgan understands its clients better and offers market-leading solutions that mean it can manage its clients’ money in exactly the way they need. The private bank can, for example, do more to point out that it is part of a group with over 200 funds holding high ratings, Gregson said.

Asked what the private bank’s “target market” is, Gregson replied that he is working on specific details, which will be unveiled in due course. “What is clear, however, is that the right segment for us, based on our heritage in the UK dating back to 1838, and that we are one of the few truly global universal banks left, is that it is about families, business owners and at the higher end of the [wealth spectrum]," he said.

Banks have wrestled with client segmentation and focus issues in the past; there is debate over what might be called the “sweet spot” for private client wealth management. At the “ultra” end of the scale, while the investment sizes are large, clients are often considered to be labour-intensive, while at the lower reaches of the HNW and into the mass affluent sector, there is a need for more standardised offerings to keep costs under control.

Gregson, who is based in London and reports to Pablo Garnica, chief executive of JP Morgan Private Bank’s Europe, Middle East and Africa region, was previously head of HSBC’s Private Bank Investment Group, in charge of the investment counselling, portfolio management, sales and trading and wealth advisory teams. 

Before that he helped establish and expand investment advisory and led the global discretionary investment team at Barclays Wealth. Previously, he held leadership positions at UBS Wealth Management and Citigroup Private Bank.

 

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