Back in September 2015, Bloomberg first discovered a little known JPM quant named Marko Kolanovic, and wrote that "You know you’re a straight-up baller when Zero Hedge writes in a non-ironic way about your prediction." After that, it didn't take a long time for Marko - whose market analysis at the time was indeed second to none - to become a household name, and in some cases, a Tolkienesque name, with some TV channels fawning at the quant they dubbed "Gandalf", while others went all out, calling the eastern european "half man, half god."
Since then - as we have extensively profiled - Marko's predictive and analytical track record got somewhat spotty, which was to be expected when coupled with several high level promotions the Croat was tasked with not just providing objective, impartial analysis but more importantly, toeing the perpetually bullish line promoted by JPMorgan thus eroding some of his hard-earned "street cred", but it didn't matter: by now everyone on Wall Street knew his name.
And so, one thing led to another, and with Marko making increasingly more frequent TV appearances and capitalizing on the rampant inflation hitting all assets and commodities, this morning we witnessed some title inflation as well, because as Bloomberg reports, the largest US commercial bank promoted Marko "Gandalf" Kolanovic to a new role as chief global markets strategist and named several executives to the bank’s global research leadership team under new head Jeremy Barnum.
Kolanovic, previously global head of macro quantitative and derivatives strategy, will now oversee research for cross-asset, equity strategy and quantitative and derivatives strategy, according to a memo sent to staffers Monday and seen by Bloomberg. He’ll continue to sit on the bank’s global research leadership team and will report to Barnum, who was appointed to a new role as global head of research in a reshuffle a month ago.
Marko's promotion appears to be necessitated by a sudden burst of the departures within JPM's top research ranks. The bank's two former global heads of research, both equity and fixed income, are out: Nicole Grainger, global equity research head, and Matt Jozoff, co-head of FICC research - who were both on the bank’s research leadership team - have decided to pursue other opportunities, according to the memo. It wasn't clear which firm they are going to. Sunil Garg, who ran international equity research, is also pursuing “new opportunities” but will stay on for a transitional period and join Barnum’s research leadership team on an interim basis, according to the memo.
In addition to Kolanovic, the bank named several new leaders to its global research leadership team, all of whom will report to Barnum:
- Steve Dulake, global head of credit research
- Gloria Kim, global head of index research
- Pedro Martins, head of Latin America equity research
- Nick Rosato, who runs North America equity research
Bloomberg also notes that Bruce Kasman, global head of economic and policy research, and Luis Oganes, global head of emerging markets, currencies and commodities research, will remain on the research leadership team, as will Hussein Malik, global head of rates, securitized products and public finance research.
In 2020, the global research “team showed exceptional thought leadership, helping clients navigate the most complex and dynamic market environment in recent memory,” Barnum wrote in the memo. “I believe these individuals, in partnership with Joyce Chang, will enable us to bring the best of our expertise to clients and deliver the JPMorgan platform with maximum impact.” Chang is chair of global research.