J.P. Morgan & Co. is switching two senior asset management specialists, one based in New York and the other in Tokyo.

Gerard Lillis will move to Tokyo to succeed Gilbert Van Hassel, currently head of asset management in Asia, the company said.

Mr. Van Hassel is to move to New York and take on Mr. Lillis' responsibilities as global head of fixed income at J.P. Morgan Investment Management Inc., the banking company's asset management unit for institutional clients.

Both men's appointments are to take effect July 1, and both are to report to Ramon de Oliveira, chairman of the company's combined institutional asset management, mutual fund, and private-client investment operations.

A Morgan representative in New York described the moves as part of a routine staff rotation aimed at bringing different areas of expertise into different areas of the bank.

"We are a large global firm with a large infrastructure, and we move people around to leverage their skills," the representative said.

Morgan has been rapidly expanding its worldwide asset management business and has been making a big push into Japan, targeting asset management for institutional investors and pension funds as well as other fee-based activities, such as mergers and acquisitions.

According to press reports, Morgan's pretax earnings in Japan rose more than threefold last year, to slightly more than $330 million from $100 million a year earlier. The Morgan representative was unable to confirm the earnings figures, which were released in Japan late last month.

As of the end of March, the bank had $24 billion of assets under management in Asia, including $17 billion in Japan, and a worldwide total of $320 billion.

That was up from $316 billion at Dec. 31, $256 billion the year before, and $208 billion at yearend 1996.

Of the total currently under management, about $150 billion is in fixed- income products.

Mr. Van Hassel joined Morgan in Brussels in 1983. He moved to Tokyo in January 1992 and became head of regional asset management in Asia.

Mr. Lillis joined Morgan's corporate finance group in 1978 and was assigned to handle fixed-income instruments in the asset management unit in 1987.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.