U.S. investment bank J.P. Morgan on
Thursday launched a new business unit specializing in e-finance
with a budget of $1 billion in its first year alone.
The new unit, LabMorgan, will identify and develop promising
e-commerce initiatives in the area of financial services, said
Thorkild Juncker, Europe head of the new global business.
"We have so much to bring to bear in the financial area and
if you combine that with an ability to bring projects ahead
quickly then you have a fantastic proposition," he told
J.P. Morgan plans to spend $1 billion via LabMorgan this
year to develop e-finance ideas, including those generated from
within the investment bank, he added.
"J.P. Morgan intends to commit up to $1 billion to electronic
business initiatives in 2000, the majority of which will be
invested as capital in promising ventures," the bank said in a
statement received in London.
Spending is likely to rise in future years. "I would expect
so and that would be a sign of success I think," Juncker said.
J.P. Morgan said LabMorgan would be cost neutral to the
company's planned expenses.
The new unit planned this year to build a staff of nearly
200 professionals world wide to screen and accelerate ideas,
identify partners and commit capital.
"We expect LabMorgan to be a catalyst for transformative
global growth for J.P. Morgan, helping us expand our client
franchise, drive capital markets innovation and advance
productivity," J.P. Morgan chairman Douglas A. Warner said in
LabMorgan will work with J.P Morgan's other business groups
to capture the flow of e-finance ideas inside and outside the
firm, the company said.
"We are looking to build and nurture e-finance ideas that
will shape the future of financial services, expand our client
base and the markets themselves, and commercialize our
marketable technology infrastructure," Nick Rohatyn, head of
LabMorgan, said in the statement.