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MOVES-JPMorgan targets mid-size companies in Japan expansion

NEW YORK, Jan 20 (Reuters) - JPMorgan Chase & Co is launching a new effort to be the international bank for mid-sized companies in Japan, the latest Asia market where the U.S. bank seeks to challenge its international rivals.

For the past year, the bank has been meeting prospective clients and recruiting staff for a new corporate client banking & specialized industries (CCBSI) group, a division within its commercial bank that serves medium-sized international companies and their subsidiaries worldwide.

The formation of the new 4-person team in Japan comes months after the bank expanded its CCBSI team in India, and it is a sign that the largest U.S. bank is using its vast resources to win more corporate clients that have international ambitions.

“Global corporates need global capabilities, with local expertise,” Andrew Kresse, head of corporate client banking & specialized industries for international banking, said in an email to Reuters. “As a global bank, we’re able to grow with them.” The bank said it hired Shotaro Akita to lead the CCBSI group and also the commercial bank in Japan. Akita joins JPMorgan from Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co, where he worked for 12 years handling mergers and acquisitions and corporate financing.

Working with Akita are Toshiyuki Okuyama and Masato Sato, who will serve as senior bankers on the team, and Hideki Hiramatsu, who will handle treasury services. Hiramatsu joins JPMorgan from Standard Chartered Bank’s Tokyo Branch. Okuyama and Sato join the group from other positions within JPMorgan.

The team will primarily handle banking services like global cash and risk management, as well as strategic advice on credit foreign exchange, trade and treasury services.

Reporting By Elizabeth Dilts Marshall, Editing by Franklin Paul

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