JP Morgan Chase and Bank One merge comms department

NEW YORK: The PR operations of JP Morgan Chase and Bank One have been combined following the finalizing of the merger of the two banks, according to Tom Kelly, Bank One's SVP of corporate media relations.

NEW YORK: The PR operations of JP Morgan Chase and Bank One have been combined following the finalizing of the merger of the two banks, according to Tom Kelly, Bank One's SVP of corporate media relations.

A re-branding over the next year is also planned to introduce what will be the nation's second-largest bank.

The new operation will be overseen by Fred Hill, JP Morgan's EVP of marketing and communications, and will have its headquarters in New York. Hill will report to JP Morgan Chase chairman and CEO Bill Harrison. Joe Evangelisti, currently global media head at JP Morgan Chase, will keep that role post-merger.

The new operations were announced internally in late March, said Kelly, who will become head of U.S. regional and retail media in the new company.

The Federal Reserve approved the $58-billion merger on June 14, following the approval of shareholders in late May. The merger is set for just after midnight on July 1.

A major re-branding is planned around subsuming the Bank One brand into the JP Morgan brand. Bank One will disappear from the New York Stock Exchange, where the new company will trade under the ticker symbol JPM.

The new brand will start appearing on new credit cards, according to a release from JP Morgan Chase, and the company plans to begin changing bank branches on a state-by-state basis in early 2005.

"Extensive, fact-based research indicated that the Chase brand is stronger in all parts of our consumer and commercial banking businesses," Harrison said in a company release.

The post-merger JP Morgan Chase will have more than 11 million retail banking customers and 87 million credit cards issued. Assets will hover around $1.1 trillion, with operations in more than 50 countries.

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