JPMorgan has hired the former head of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) to help boost its financial institutions group in Asia.

Andrew Crockett was general manager of the BIS in Basel, Switzerland for nine years and joins JPMorgan as president of JPMorgan Chase International. He will report directly to chairman and CEO, William Harrison and will sit on the firm's risk management committee.

However, it is clear that the key reason for hiring him is Asia, where he will spend much of his time talking to the firm's banking clients. His input will no doubt be viewed by clients as important, since all Asian banks are currently facing up to the prospect of implementing the new Basel II capital adequacy requirements, which are being driven by the BIS. Crockett's extensive experience at the BIS makes him the ideal person to help Asian banks understand the nuances and complexities of Basel II and help with their consequent capital managment or capital-raising needs.

He is 60 and joined the BIS in January 1994. Prior to that he worked with the IMF and the Bank of England. The BIS has been developing Basel II capital standard for the past four years to replace the 1988 accord and they are pencilled to come into force at the beginning of 2006 - although China and India have so far said their banks will not implement them.

For more on Basel II and its impact on Asian banks, see page 30 of the August issue of FinanceAsia magazine.