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JPMorgan to Close More Funds

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JPMorgan Asset Management, a unit of JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM - Free Report) , plans to close another 100 funds out of its existing 650 funds, according to a Financial Times report. The closure will comprise 15% of its active funds across Asia and the U.S.

As part of the recent plans, JPMF Europe Dynamic Mega Cap fund will merge with the JPMF Europe Dynamic fund and The JPMF Emerging Markets Infrastructure equity fund will merge with the JPMF Emerging Markets Equity fund.

Earlier, the company had disclosed its plan of closing 49 funds in Europe by first-quarter 2014.The major reason for JPMorgan to close funds is to simplify its existing fund range.

The recent news is in line with JPMorgan’s efforts to streamline its business by winding up unprofitable products and strategies. Further, the amount saved will be utilized in more profitable avenues like exchange traded funds (ETFs) and target date funds. While the former is gaining increasing popularity as a new form of investment with greater returns, the latter is already in demand among the U.S. pensioners.

Similar to JPMorgan, in Jun 2013, BlackRock, Inc. (BLK - Free Report) announced its intention to close nearly 250 funds out of its existing range of products in order to focus more on portfolios that contribute a major proportion to revenues.

At present, JPMorgan is facing a series of lawsuits related to the financial crisis. In a desperate attempt to resolve all probes and legal woes, the company is in negotiation with various agencies for a multi-billion dollar settlement. Though the exact settlement amount is not known, it could range from $3–$7 billion, according to market rumors.

These legal hassles tend to tarnish the company’s reputation and increase its expenses. Hence, to improve the situation, JPMorgan is undertaking aggressive cost cuts and trying to improve its product offerings.

JPMorgan currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Better performing banks worth considering include Tower Financial Corp. and Enterprise Financial Services Corp. (EFSC - Free Report) . While Tower Financial Corporation carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Enterprise Financial Services holds a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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