J.P. Morgan's global wealth management business hardly felt the sting of the bank's recent $307 million U.S. regulatory settlement.
Global wealth management, which includes both J.P. Morgan Private Bank and J.P. Morgan Securities, generated $1.4 billion in revenue in the fourth quarter of 2015, down 2% year-over-year but up 1% from the previous quarter, according to the bank's latest financial results released Thursday. For the full year, revenue inched up 2% to $5.8 billion from $5.7 billion a year earlier.
At the end of 2015, the global wealth management business had $437 billion in assets under management, a modest 2% increase from 2014.
The two units managed the boost in AUM and full-year revenue with fewer advisors. At the end of 2015, they employed 2,778 advisors, down 2% year-over-year.
Global wealth management is part of the bank's asset management business, which earned $507 million on $3.0 billion in fourth-quarter revenue. For the full year, asset management earned $1.9 billion on $12.1 billion. In addition to global wealth management, the asset management business includes the bank's mutual fund and institutional business segments.
The bank's retail wealth management business, which includes its mass-affluent Chase Private Client offering, also posted gains in client assets, rising 2% to $218.5 billion at the end of 2015 from $213.4 a year earlier. There were 441,369 Chase Private Client customers at the end of 2015, up a dramatic 36% from the previous year.
Meanwhile, the number of advisors in retail wealth management fell 5% to 2,931.
The bank's wealth management businesses were relatively unscathed given the recent sanctions handed down by U.S. regulators. On Dec. 18, 2015, two J.P. Morgan wealth management subsidiaries—J.P. Morgan Securities and J.P. Morgan Chase Bank—were ordered to pay $307 million to the SEC and the Commodities Futures Trading Commission to settle allegations that it failed to disclose conflicts of interest to clients. The regulators charged that J.P. Morgan preferred to invest clients in its own proprietary investment products without properly disclosing this preference.
Overall, J.P. Morgan earned $5.4 billion, or $1.32 per share, in the fourth quarter, up from $4.9 billion, or $1.19 per share, in the same quarter a year ago. For the full year, it earned $24.4 billion, or a record $6.00 per share.
"Looking at performance for the full year, 2015 was another record year for the firm for net income and EPS," Jamie Dimon, chairman and CEO of J.P. Morgan Chase, said in a statement. "The firm is getting safer and stronger each year. We are continuing to adjust our strategy to the new world and to meeting all requirements."
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