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JPMorgan bumps investment bank headcount, keeps pay stable

JPMorgan’s Q3 results are out, and they’ve come with some curious insights into the corporate and investment bank’s (CIB) activities.

For one, it’s expanded. Only by around 4%, to be fair – from 71,797 to 74,900 – but that’s still pretty significant at a time when other banks are deep into long-announced cuts programs, and new ones are joining in on the action.

Despite the expanded headcount, and again in the opposite direction to other banks, pay has remained surprisingly flat. It’s still gone down on average, but it’s a slight fall. The bank paid an average of $45k per head this last quarter, down by less than 1% from the year before. The 9M performance was similar, with $146k paid per head on average this year, less than 3% below the same figure from last year. The bank's results presentation said the uplift was from "wage inflation".

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Revenues for the investment bank, however, were a mixed bag. Quarter on quarter, it was equities trading and M&A revenues that took the biggest hits (both down some 10%). Equity capital markets (ECM) revenues were also down, although less dramatically, and debt capital markets (DCM) were even up - by a healthy 10%. It was a similar story for 9M revenues, with equities and M&A revenue most down, although ECM was slightly up (and DCM down). Fixed Income trading was down on both counts.

The numbers are a pretty fair reversal of fortune compared to last quarter, during which the bank also showed hesitance to cut job numbers. Although total investment banking fees were down by 3% compared to the third quarter of 2022, they were up 10% on this year’s second.

Speaking on the analyst call, CEO Jamie Dimon said much of the headcount growth was as a result of additions to front office and technology teams. However, he didn't clarify the extent to which this applied to the CIB alone. 

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AUTHORZeno Toulon

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