J.P. Morgan had a product up its sleeve for its broker-dealers on Aug. 4.

That was the date it put the servicing of more than one million accounts onto a new broker-dealer platform, known as Morgan Communications or MORCOM. The online system was to serve both retail and institutional brokers.

The Web 2.0 initiative is part of one of four main thrusts of a half-billion-dollar Strategic Reengineering Program that, in effect, got its start with the May 2008 completion of the acquisition of Bear Stearns, the collapsed Wall Street investment bank.

This is how the acquisition of Bear in a fire sale at the height of the credit crisis led to a re-engineering of the technical operations of J.P. Morgan, the investment banking business of JPMorgan Chase, the nation’s second-largest banking firm.

All in all, 24 streams of work got started at the end of 2009, covering changes in technology and operations that would affect not just trading, clearing and settlement, but human resources, legal affairs, compliance, risk management, finance, tax services, auditing, real estate, regional operations and the like.

Twelve streams of work are completed and 12 are still in progress.

Along the way, the re-engineering had to survive, at critical points, not just last year’s downgrade of U.S. debt on Aug. 5 of last year, but the disappearance of Lehman Brothers at the outset of the program and a hurricane that rendered its Texas development center unusable, in the middle.

Here’s Securities Technology Monitor’s Field Report on the Re-Engineering of J.P. Morgan.

Tom Steinert-Threlkeld writes for Securities Technology Monitor.



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