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UPDATE 1-JP Morgan loses activism defense bankers in U.S., Europe

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Svea Herbst-Bayliss
·1 min read
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(Adds details on moves, background)

By Svea Herbst-Bayliss

BOSTON, Feb 10 (Reuters) - Two senior JP Morgan Chase & Coexecutives responsible for defending corporate clients againstactivist investors who push for companies to perform better haveleft the bank, three sources said.

Benjamin Wilson, head of shareholder activism defense forNorth America resigned this month to take another job in thebanking industry while Kirshlen Moodley, who was head of thepractice in Europe, Middle East and Africa, left late in 2020,the sources said.

Wilson who has worked at JP Morgan since 2008 and rosethrough the ranks in the bank's Mergers & Acquisitionsdepartment is moving to position at Guggenheim Partners, twosources said.

Moodley, who worked at the bank for nine years, now works atBNP Paribas CIB in London, according to his LinkedIn profile.

JP Morgan declined to comment.

The moves come only a few months after the bank revamped itsshareholder defense practice in August when it promoted DavidFreedman to oversee the business globally after David Hunkerleft the bank.

Activism defense has become a major franchise for investmentbanks, as hedge funds such as Elliott Management, StarboardValue and Third Point push for changes at companies.

There has been movement among banks in the last months. InJanuary, UBS hired Aneliya Crawford from law firm Schulte Roth &Zabel LLP to co-head its activism defense group.(Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss with additional reporting byGreg Roumeliotis; Editing by Leslie Adler and Lincoln Feast)