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By Elizabeth Dilts Marshall
NEW YORK, July 22 (Reuters) - JPMorgan Chase executives said on Thursday they plan to hire more than 500 financial advisers in the next five to seven years, as the largest U.S. bank aggressively expands its wealth management services for the very wealthy.
That plan would more than double the 450 brokers now working for J.P. Morgan Advisors, the bank's boutique wealth management firm.
"We are investing in this business," Phil Sieg, chief executive officer of J.P. Morgan Advisors, told Reuters. "We want to grow to 1,000 advisers relatively quickly."
J.P. Morgan Advisors would still be a small firm. Morgan Stanley Wealth Management has around 15,000 advisers. But growing JPMorgan's wealth offerings has been a top priority of JPMorgan Chief Executive Jamie Dimon.
Dimon briefly led the retail brokerage Smith Barney in the mid-1990s, and has said his favorite part of the job was overseeing its top 1,000 advisers. Sieg's goal of getting to 1,000 advisers in his division is a nod to Dimon's history.
J.P. Morgan Advisors sits in the bank's U.S. wealth management division, which is led by Kristin Lemkau and includes Chase's self-directed investing platform and its roughly 4,000 financial advisers who work at bank branches.
As of June 30, the wealth management division had $673 billion in client assets under supervision.
As part of the plan, the bank hired Mollie Colavita from rival brokerage Merrill Lynch to lead practice management and Jessica Douieb from Goldman Sachs as head of wealth partners. Kevin Hale was named the new head of marketing for JPMorgan Advisors & Chase Wealth Management. (Reporting by Elizabeth Dilts Marshall; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)