JP Morgan Asset Management's Asia chief executive, Michael Falcon, is leaving to head the North American operations of Prudential, in a move seen as a coup for the UK insurance group.

He will replace Barry Stowe, who will retire as chairman and CEO of Prudential’s North American business on December 31. After eight years at the $1.7 trillion US fund house, including three in his latest role, Falcon will take up the new post on January 7, 2019.

Michael Falcon

Returning to his native US, Falcon will divide his time between Nashville, Tennessee and Lansing, Michigan. He will remain with JP Morgan AM until the end of this year to aid the transition to a new CEO.

JP Morgan said it would announce a successor in due course. 

A PRUDENTIAL COUP

Falcon's appointment is a very good hire for Prudential, but a big loss for JP Morgan AM, Asia-based recruiters told AsianInvestor, noting that he is highly respected and well liked both internally and externally. 

Still, the firm has "a deep bench of talent globally, which is presumably where they will go to find his replacement", said one Hong Kong-based headhunter. 

The spokeswoman declined to comment on whether the individual would be an internal replacement or external hire.

Barry Stowe

Achievement-wise, under Falcon’s tenure JPM AM secured the first investment management wholly foreign-owned enterprise (WFOE) in Shanghai, after he had made China a top priority upon his arrival.

In addition, he has overseen growth in Asia AUM of more than 20% from $140 billion to $171 billion since he joined in July 2015.

Such developments, underpinned by very positive client feedback, helped the company to scoop AsianInvestor’s Asset Management of the Year award this year, and numerous other honours since 2015. 

Stowe has worked at Prudential for 12 years, including as Asia CEO, and will remain as an adviser to the group.

Before leading JPM AM’s Asia business since July 2015, Falcon was CEO of the group’s retirement businesses in the US. He has also served as head of Merrill Lynch’s retirement group, with responsibility for several businesses serving individual and employer retirement plans.