The banker at the heart of JPMorgan Chase & Co.'s successful integration of Bear Stearns' prime brokerage business, which helped transform the Wall Street giant into one of the top banks serving hedge funds, is planning to retire after 20 years with the firm.

Richard Berliand, global head of prime services at JPMorgan Chase, will leave the company at the end of 2010 to spend more time with his family and pursue personal interests, according to an internal memo from Carlos Hernandez, global head of equities, seen by Financial News.

JPMorgan Chase's prime services division includes prime brokerage, futures and options, and over-the-counter clearing.

Berliand was instrumental in helping with the integration of Bear Stearns, a top-three prime broker to U.S. hedge funds by assets at its peak, following its acquisition by JPMorgan Chase during the financial crisis.

Analysts said the acquisition of the Bear Stearns business in the spring of 2008 shifted JPMorgan Chase from the bottom of the top 10 by U.S. hedge fund assets into the top three.

Berliand will be replaced by Sandie O'Connor, who has been with the firm for more than two decades and runs a similar business within treasury and securities services. O'Connor will now move into the investment bank and report to Hernandez.

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