Paul Bartlett, JPMorgan's Asian co-head of credit origination is to leave the bank, an internal memo announced on Friday.

His departure marks the latest step in JPMorgan's move towards a single, cost efficient and completely integrated credit business spanning bonds, loans and structured finance. But his departure is also said to be voluntary and prompted by a desire to return to his native Australia with his family rather than relocate to another area of the bank.

Having run Chase's loan syndication business from Sydney, Bartlett came to Hong Kong in July 2000 to oversee the bank's regional loan business before being made co-head of Asian credit origination in November 2000 alongside his bond counterpart at JPMorgan, Marc Jones.

Jones, considered one of JPM's most cerebral and thoughtful bankers, now becomes head of credit origination across a region spanning both Australia and Japan. Working alongside him is the bank's ever-exuberant head of Asian fixed income, Chris Nicholas. The third managing director in the team, Matt Harris, also has a background in the loan market like Bartlett and currently runs the general industries group.

Under Bartlett's stewardship, JPMorgan began to use its balance sheet in more imaginative and value-enhancing ways during 2001. Of particular note in this respect, was its Won314 billion loan for Haitai Food Products, which won FinanceAsia's best syndicated loan of 2001, and formed part of a Leveraged Buy Out (LBO) of the confectionary assets of the distressed Haitai group.