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Wealth Manager: JP Morgan's UK head Olivier de Givenchy on his expansion plans

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by Sarah Miloudi on Oct 13, 2010 at 00:01

125 London Wall, the home of JP Morgan Private Bank,is a spot so elusive that even a trio of seasoned cabbies draw a blank when I ask for directions.

‘Number 125, you say? That’s the museum, it’s definitely the museum,’ is their consensus.  It’s a suitably discreet spot for one of the world’s most exclusive private banks.

Olivier de Givenchy, the managing director and UK head of JP Morgan Private Bank, was one of around a dozen or so employees who served at JP Morgan’s original Pall Mall site, after beginning work for the group in the UK towards the end of the 1990s.

‘I have no issue if I’m out or at a dinner about telling people what I do and putting that out there,’ he says. ‘I love getting involved with the clients, and telling them about what we do.’

In the past two years, de Givenchy has been fortunate enough to witness a surge in new client numbers throughout the company – no doubt in part down to his own willingness to recruit business, but also because JP Morgan was one of the few big names in finance to survive the credit crunch relatively unscathed.

But reluctant for the bank to rest on its laurels, de Givenchy lifts the lid on some ambitious expansion plans that could see the private bank spread its reach across Britain, with a homecoming to London’s West End and potential moves into Manchester, Scotland and Ireland on the cards.

‘You’ll see this reflected in our new space,’ he adds, referring to the private bank’s forthcoming move to Number One Knightsbridge between the Berkeley and Lanesborough hotels.

‘Over the past two years we have seen a surge in new clients, which is great, but we recognise the delicacy of balancing growth with our mission to deliver a first-class boutique experience to our private clients. We’ve been building our client-facing teams and in the process we’ve outgrown our space at 125 London Wall,’ de Givenchy says.

‘In looking at our options, our first goal was to be accessible to clients and then to ensure we had space to grow. Inevitably, we determined the West End was the optimal location for us to serve our clients.’

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