JPMorgan, Bpifrance to invest $60M in French female-led funds

By Mathieu Rosemain

PARIS (Reuters) – JPMorgan on Wednesday said it is teaming up with Bpifrance to invest around $60 million in private investment firms led by women in France, where the bank has its biggest European trading and investment banking hub after London.

The partnership with France’s state-owned investment bank follows JPMorgan’s $30 million five-year program for impoverished areas around Paris announced in 2018, in a move that will likely raise the U.S. lender’s profile with the French government.Paris is a trading and investment banking hub for JPMorgan in Europe. It is the bank’s third-biggest city in the European Union in terms of staff with 900 people, coming after Warsaw (1,200) and Dublin (more than 1,000).

The oldest U.S. bank in France, the lender has a history in the country that traces back to 1868. It is housed in Paris’ landmark Place Vendome, near the Tuileries Gardens and the Louvre, in a building it bought more than 100 years ago.

The company’s Parisian headquarters faces France’s ministry of Justice and shares the square with the Ritz Paris Hotel and high-end jewellery shops and luxury brands such as Cartier and Louis Vuitton.

In the wake of Britain’s exit from the European Union, JPMorgan bought a seven-storey building near its historic headquarters in the first arrondissement to house more employees.

JPMorgan will commit $50 million of the $60 million investment and Bpifrance will provide 10 million euros ($10.66 million). The aim is to raise between 150 million euros to 200 million euros by the end of 2024, the U.S. lender said.

Bpifrance will manage the vehicle through which the investments will be made, named Spark France, in close cooperation with JPMorgan Asset Management, it added.

In addition, JP Morgan will invest an extra $20 million on deprived communities in France, it said.

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon has promoted policies and public-private partnerships that he said he believes will promote economic growth.

($1 = 0.9377 euros)

(Reporting by Mathieu Rosemain; editing by Anousha Sakoui and Louise Heavens)