* Gatch named head of global funds
* Firm goal to grow market share by 2 percent
* Aims to double global market share within 5 years
By Jessica Toonkel
NEW YORK, April 5 (Reuters) - JPMorgan Chase & Co's fund business, the world's fourth largest asset manager, has brought its various regions under one roof in a move to double its global market share quickly.
George Gatch, who was chief executive of J.P. Morgan Asset Management's investment management division for the Americas, now heads the new global funds business, he told Reuters on Thursday.
As the U.S. market has matured, asset managers like J.P. Morgan are looking abroad to grow. And Gatch has ambitious goals for that growth.
"My expectation is that over the next three to five years we will double our global market share," he said. J.P. Morgan has about a 2 percent market share globally, according to the company.
By establishing a global funds business, Gatch said, J.P. Morgan Asset Management hopes that the different regions will be better at sharing ideas and resources, and thus be able to bring new investments to market more quickly on a global basis.
In the past, J.P. Morgan has introduced the same fund in different regions on an ad hoc basis, and that has resulted at times in being late to market, Gatch said.
By having a unified global business, the asset manager would be able to introduce products worldwide and have all of its sales representatives ready to talk to advisers about them right away.
Previously, J.P. Morgan had three regional divisions: the Americas, Europe Middle East and Africa, and Asia, each of which ran like a separate division.
Now the business will have five regions: the United States, Europe, Asia, the United Kingdom and Brazil, all reporting to Gatch.
As part of the changes, J.P. Morgan has established a "global funds management operating committee" to help to oversee the business.
The bank also tapped Jed Laskowitz, who had headed the U.S. funds business, as chief executive of Asia Funds and head of investment management in Asia. Andrea Lisher, institutional sales team leader for the east division, has replaced Laskowitz.
Rivals such as BlackRock Inc have grown globally through acquisitions, and others like Franklin Templeton Investments are already well-known globally.
"The challenge is that Europe is already a bit of a crowded trade, so now everyone is focusing on Asia," said Geoff Bobroff, a fund consultant.
J.P. Morgan plans to differentiate itself by keeping its regional focus while sharing best practices more across regions, Gatch said.
"We have 700 portfolio managers in 23 countries with over 300 distinct investment product capabilities," Gatch said.
J.P. Morgan plans to focus on income and retirement products, which has been a push for the company in the United States.
"Global asset allocation, equity and income capabilities will be primary areas of product launches over the next year," he said.